I Am Here to Say Simply ~ Lisa Norris

thank you: there is only my son sleeping off
his jet lag in the next room–all those manly inches

of him, feet overhanging the end of the bed,
gadgetry on the desk, clothes heaping like some

creeping wet animal with a strong scent of mold.
Sometimes in his sleep, I hear him kicking

the wall: no need to be concerned–he’s just
getting comfortable in the too-small house

where his mother makes his breathing
an event. Her fearful dreams of powerful

currents sucking him under are laid to rest
for a day or two as she recalls the moments when she

was his planet’s sun, axis to his rotation,
and woke to find his head next to hers

on the pillow: the mere curve of his cheek
among the world’s seven wonders,

the smile when he woke another, and the nestling in,
the waking wish to see the hippos at the zoo

or push the mini TransAm down the hall
or chase after the hopping pet bunny–nothing was real

until Mommy looked–she who mirrored his moves
with exclamations of wonder or forbade those

that might endanger him: no riding the trike into traffic,
no wandering beyond the fenced yard, no jumping

from the back of the couch where he might land hard
on the sharp edge of the coffee table. Now he’s gone beyond

those limits, venturing down rivers on borders of countries
like Myanmar, paddling his surfboard out beyond the breakers

where Pacific currents pull hard. He’s stood on nearly every continent,
and sleeps now next to a woman in whose gaze he finds

some old, familiar terrain he cannot name,
though he knows it feels like warm sand under his toes,

She says babe, and I, his mother, recall the toothless smile of
the infant son, the tiny limbs pumping and kicking in joyful greeting

as radiance between them opens, and through that gate
they find each other’s invisible gold.