In Asgaard, when it was young
and the wolves had not yet begun to howl
nor my eyes begun to dim, we would walk,
you and I, down by the river
where it was always raining -
the water sunk deep into the weeds,
and the bank was overrun with activity
as everything tried to get in or out
of the churning water - I remember that
your little footsteps squelched as we trod.
My hand clutched yours
and we peered into the murky water,
your eyes constantly drawn
by the lure of frogs or the shimmer of salmon.
In those days you paused often
and let my words, like that river,
wash against you, filling you, I hope,
with some of the wisdom
I had found in my travels.
When you were three you
hid a duck under a bucket
until your mother found it 3 days later.
Then there was that day
you clomped down the stairs, a brush
in your small hand
that dripped paint like laughter,
and the time you sat on the window ledge
and leaned too hard against the fly wire.
We all laughed when your bewildered head
popped up from amongst the pineapple sage.
I wish you’d come home,
but not all grown-up.
that three old to visit me again
so I could hold him close
and maybe try even harder
what I know must fade.
As it is, standing by the river,
the rainbow bridge
shows signs that it fades,
and my empty hand throbs with memory -
I feel like I am a duck
under a bucket, waiting.