for Maria Cadavieco, after 'Parent/child 2'


written for my son Thomas, some time around 1990


The Hot Tears of a Parent


'From whining wind and colder 

Grey sea I wrap him warm 

And touch his trembling fineboned shoulder 

And boyish arm.' 

—James Joyce, 'On the Beach at Fontana' 



When I walk the beach among the roiling waves 

I will think of you. 


When I stop at the low-tide pool

I will wish you near.


When you are near 

I will reach for your hand.


When you are too old for my hand

I will understand, and be content with your presence.


When the weight of my parenting is too much

I will close my eyes and think of waves.


When cold waves crash round my feet, when I feel the ocean pull,

I will resist, that I might return to you.


Long after the constellations have shifted their familiar pattern,

the atoms that were you and me will still be entwined. 


I will never let go.






Poetry by jim The PoetBay support member heart!
Read 211 times
Written on 2019-07-25 at 10:50

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Whoa, this is fricking brilliant. I love love love it

That poem was always one of my favourites by Joyce (along with "Rain on Rahoon falls softly"). Your poem is a worthy successor to Joyce's, but of course, entirely independent, standing on its own. Beautiful and poignant.

You are wearing your parental heart on your sleeve. This is beautiful, my mother once said to me "I have to let you go so you come back." Now I understand. Bookmarked.

Hot tears are the most difficult to release, and sometimes the most releasing of all.

A love of parent is eternal,
It can't be define in thousand words!
Thank u for sharing😉

josephus The PoetBay support member heart!
Jim, this is simply magnificent! A beautiful prayer of commitment and love enduring forever. I've never read a more impacting poem on the subject of parental love.

Marie Cadavieco The PoetBay support member heart!
Ooooh, shivers down the spine. Love of a parent for a child. Nothing, not life, not people, not time, not death, can dim that flame. Thank you for sharing this. It must have meant so much to do so.