The Grand Child

 

At bedtime, we lay side-by-side in a tangle
of sheets thick as brambles, our warmth 
trapped in the folds and creases that eclipse
the rhythms of breath. The weight of my hand
upon your tiny chest seems an undue burden
of love that you push and pull, unknowningly,
with each shallow draw of air. And with each
passing year this tide erodes the intimacy 
between us until, at last, this ripened fruit
drops away from the vine and goes to seed.

 

Training Wheels

 

Mom and I rode endlessly,
or so it seemed at the time,

along the paths running parallel 
to the rushing creek as if persuaded 

by the current. Around the bends 

I would teeter, a training wheel lifting 
dangerously toward the sky. Now, 

I pedal cautiously behind my own boy, 
his legs pumping furiously, petitioning 

his tiny wheels to spin faster. “Slow down!” 
we urge from the broadening distance, 

while our kids, deaf to the consequences, 
hurl themselves into the future, unknown.

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- Deja Samuel

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Matthew Schultz teaches Creative Writing at Vassar College where he also directs the Writing Center. He is the author of two novels––On Coventry (2015) and We, The Wanted (2021). Matt drank black coffee for breakfast before taking his Great Dane for a walk. Currently, he is jamming a couple of Allman Brothers tunes on bass while his son plays the drums. His wife just asked, "What we should do about dinner?" He doesn't know.