When You Lap My Feet

When you lap my feet
With your soothing song
I want to dive into your wetness
To see how deep inside our souls
I can swim.

I walk towards you step by step
Until your song drowns the noises
Life makes of other people’s living.

I could stand on your sand
A foundation slips away
And never fear a thing
Then watch the gull fly
Over your shimmering skin
Aloft in freedom
Finding inside a sustenance
That brings life
Only your deepest flesh knows.

I am briefly jealous.
Until I hear your song again
Singing for me
Alone in the surf where you end
Always giving me a loving caress
That froths as it fades
And surges up, again and again.

You deposit gifts on my earth
Broken shells and drifting weeds
Only I can see as my treasure.
Here, the smoothed rock…
There, a flattened stone
For me to return to you in skips
Like a man remembering his boyhood
Or a boy still dreaming of what story
He will tell when I return inside you
A love as persistent as the moon
That pulls you rising
Across the quiet of a solitude
That together we understand
As a language spoken
Throughout time for this moment
Awaiting us since the beginning.

You’ll Never Be Alone (for Bobby)

Son
Today with oil, water and breath
I watched the priest
Open the soul of a boy
To God.

As
Mine
Was
A long time ago
And many sins past.

Now, let’s watch the gulls
Take flight from the bay
And ask them
What water tastes like in the rain
And ask them
What air feels like in the wind.

But until:
Your mother’s arms will hold you.
Strong arms.
They’ll support you wherever you fly.

I’ll be here watching the gulls
Listening to the sea’s song
Singing along with words made up
From scattered broken shells
And worn out stones
Awaiting you.

I will drip the oil
I will share my water
I will breathe for you
Until you fly back
Into my arms

And open
Up
My soul
Once again.
Son.

My reading:

Last year I ran a series of poems in response to songs by my favorite band, The National, never finishing their back-catalog. To rectify this situation, I turn to their under-rated self-titled album and perhaps their most beautiful song: “Son”. My response is dedicated to my oldest child and is titled after the line, “You’ll never be alone”.

Please enjoy.

The song:

The lyrics

Son
Songwriters: Aaron Dessner / Bryan Devendorf / Matthew Berninger / Scott Devendorf

And if you follow me, son
The wind’ll wrap around you
Carry you from the ground
You will never be alone

Your weight will turn to sunlight
That’s falling on a girl
You’re still inside the world

She’s reading books from empty women
They’re giving beauty tips from empty hips

[Chorus]
And how is the water of the rain
And how is the air of the wind
And how are the arms of your mother
She’s holding you in

Watch them as they try to fly their kites inside their bedrooms
That were only built for drinking
Your thoughts, they never lasted long when you were under the sky
Above it you can hold a thought forever

[Chorus] x2
She’s holding you in
She’s holding you in

Son lyrics © BMG Rights Management US, LLC