The tiny hands of children

Let us talk of broken hearts and the tiny hands of children that cannot hold the shells they gather in the shallows, nor keep their castles from the tide. The lights of carnivals, the rides etched upon the bruised skyline, the boats moored like quiet birds on the dark water, the family tents that dot the foreshore making light the night-time swallows have all been taken by the lines the wind makes in the sand. Time weighs heavy on then breaks the horizon and the sea rolls on. Standing here on this beach, I can almost see the lost parts of me: the child who pushed the board across the waves and bought the day’s bold promise; the teen who took the girl down to the edge and eased her buttons free. Hearts are broken by the things they cannot carry, by the fullness that they cannot hold, by the unexpected change that gathers in the clouds and falls down like rain to run in rivulets eating tiny fissures in the threaded muscle there. I have come this far and the morning like a girl I loved has left me, but I can taste her skin and everything it was ever dipped in. This is what we have: our children and our plans and our skipping hearts full to the breaking twice, thrice more than can truly be borne.

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8 thoughts on “The tiny hands of children

  1. Rich and powerful, Phil. As I guess I keep saying! I love ‘I can almost see the lost parts of me’; ‘Hearts are broken by the things they cannot carry, by the fullness that they cannot hold’; ‘the morning like a girl I loved has left me’ And your final line. Thank you.

  2. Wow! Thank you for this. I have a piece that I have been working on–that really is the reason I started blogging–that is informed by just this subject–the heartbreak of parenting…time passing–It’s been years in the making and years before it’s done (and I’m ok with that). I hope it’s half as good as this. You didn’t just strike a chord, you woke up the symphony.

    1. Thanks so much. Is your ‘piece’ a novel? Parenting/kids/childood provide a lot of material, don’t they. There’s a few other parenting pieces/references among the posts I’ve done here. Looking forward to reading more of your work.

  3. No novel…a longer poem. At this point I think I’ve done more writing “about” this poem than I have “of” this poem. I wish for it to be more than it is right now because yes, this is a HUGE subject/theme. I think it’s already spun off at least two or three other pieces. That tends to be how I go about things. I have a lot of things on a lot of back burners on a very big stove. I look forward to reading more of your work.

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