as He Is

He curls on the green of the lawn,
rolled on his side, hands in prayer
beneath his head, a pillow.
He praises the soft ground.
Above him, the sky is the blue of the sky
that I painted on his ceiling when he was three.
Every night, I tucked him beneath those clouds.
Now, his long body curls
the way he had to curl inside me to stay contained
in this package of bone and skin.

I know that I should see him only as he is,
this present moment in him alive,
the strength of his body, fresh from a race.
When a woman says, “What a strong young man
you’ve become,” he pauses.
“He’s still a boy too,” I say, a laugh in my voice.
He nods his head, a small gesture,
without lifting it from the ground.
His eyes are closed.
I wonder, holding the image of him here
of baby, toddler, man,
if I hold those images all together,
all at once and wrap him in my thoughts,
is that a wound or a gift?

about the author
Lori Gravley lives just outside of Yellow Springs, Ohio. She earned her MFA in Poetry at the University of Texas at El Paso. Lori has published poems in the recent issue of Flights magazine, and has also been published in Nebo, Rio Grande Review, Poetry Motel and other small literary magazines  Recently, her non-fiction and photography was featured on The Pantone Project (120 & 423).