To Measure Him

Dozens of number-covered papers
Claim to represent what is vital about my son.
His blood. Knowledge. College readiness. Genes.
Brain chemicals disguised as ambition, anxiety, love.
I study them like runes, riddles, scientific scripture.
What numbers are light blue like his hurt eyes?
Gravelly with laughter over mastered digital dances?
Flushed like his kind face over fragrant cast iron pans?
Steaming with pure hockey joy? Long road silent?
Early to sleep on the family couch, cradled in yarn,
Wrapped in the magic arms of a mandala afghan?
Numbers strike as monolingual, unholy arrogance:
This summing up, ridiculous reduction of gentleness,
Unbearable empathy, early existentialism.
It makes more sense to measure him by this:
How many moon eclipses he has witnessed
Just beyond a gasp-shared meteor. One.

2019

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