portion of the artwork for Eugenie Juliet Theall's poem

Eugenie Juliet Theall

My son tells me he has a girlfriend—Isabella.
She has black hair, but he can’t remember
if her eyes are brown or green
(and I realize, I will be replaced).
As I shampoo his hair, he adds,
She’s smart and funny, and I am proud
he values more than the outer shell.
I rinse his now-darkened blond head.
He admits, I told her teacher shes my girlfriend.
One day, he will talk this intimately
with another. I wash his back, ask
how Isabella responded. Oh, she doesn’t know.
And I smile, reminded of how humans communicate,
how we often love from afar, familiar
with the long path around the mountain,
expecting the grit and sand, to toil and sweat
earthbound. I wash my son’s feet,
knowing I have years.

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 47 | Spring 2016