An unapologetically soppy poem by me as a young mum. I am still crazy about this boy and he is still a cuddly one, but he’s now known as Will, mostly keeps his clothes on and is slightly less obsessed with his Gameboy.
Bare feet thudding across landing, slow scuffle-drag of wooden door on carpet;
he glides spectrally towards me, perfectly, unabashedly bare,
and confidently scrabbles into the darkness,
where he snuggles dazedly into sleep-laden arms until
the alarm shatters the body-warm bed nest, and my finger tips
tickle his sturdy, satin back while he squirms and chortles,
then turns around and unfailingly takes my breath away with
a long-lashed milk chocolate gaze.
We walk into the freshly-laundered morning;
his wind-chilled hand homes into mine until an aeroplane,
a cloud, a cat or a lorry demand his body’s focus;
words and images squeezing and
bubbling from an internal picture-store through
an unsatisfactory vocabulary and sometimes a
stutter and another squeeze of the hand as he
galumphs in rhythm with the need to tell.
After school he has a happy sticker, he did not
roar at story-time or dive joyously into mud.
He stands proud, stomach protruding and
knock-knees unashamedly together, splayed feet;
the innocence of bodily ignorance.
He earned his game boy and he sits,
milk-moustached, after his bath,
pink tongue lolling and a slight
frown as he tackles real monsters;
with spring-loaded tension
he directs frantically jabbing fingers.
Night time, and he is a graceless rag-doll,
a discarded duvet twisted lumpishly
in one corner of its football-themed cover.
His bluey-white skin wears
a slight flush and the musk-mint breath
is almost imperceptible; parted lips
display outgrown crazy-paving
teeth and his sun-bleached cow’s lick
invites my palm.