The late sun unyielding my son
asks can I look and when I say
no he tips back flicking his eyes
testing the sky for a safe edge.
The adult eye can navigate
the light. He threads his hand in mine.
I lead like I do in the night.
He says he likes the sound of light
when the switch turns on and says, plot.
With my hand on his head he prays
the things he doesn’t understand
but after the recitation
of the family names he will say
in a sure voice …and God bless God.
In my head I explain blessing
the top and the bottom of it,
the lead and the follow of it,
but it never reaches his ears.
One morning he helps me water
the grass he sprays the lower leaves
of our tree to make it grow big
the water he says touches the sky
so high and he laughs when it tricks
like silver down to his eyes.
When it comes time to put the hose
down I find a halting tempo
on the sprinkler that scatters up
like praise, fingers of water
raising hosannas to the sky.
Water rises in the glaring.
I can’t see the water falling
it rises Godward and the ground
below us blackens, turns to mud
the fallen voice, the germ and seed,
every drop wrought and every
note lifted in wayward blessing.