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Jul 15
a thousand years ago, wrote a poem called
“why I always carry tissues”  -
a labor of love to
mine own toddlers misadventures,
requiring love covered in tissues so soft,
yet an ironclad coating
of natural substantive parenting
useful for tearing eyes, running noses,
and the cuts of living outdoors joyously

children grow older and oft that means,
they seek not your counsel,
and if offered, politely ignored,
for so it goes tween fathers and sons

then one summer days you receive an
observation, a datapoint that irradiates,
a quiet confirmation that not everything
you’ve said and done has gone astray

a young’un of “almost ten,” informs her father,
around the luncheon table of three generations,
that her foot is hurting; the son, now the father,
diagnosis renders, a blister, which will require
a protective custody that will protect the child’s
feet from the ravages of furious Shell Beach fun,
or the rough of a Manhattan sidewalk

I watch with a joy so quiet and so overwhelming,
as the son-father reaches into a cargo pocket,
producing not one but two bandaids, for life
requires backups for there are other babes about,
who at moments notice, produce scrapes and cuts
of ever greater consequence for each year they age

his wife renders me overjoyed, when she dryly
observe how certain children are lucky that
their father always carries bandaids, a new factoid,
for me, an unknown that glistens like a wet shell

now my eyes tearing, for a message in a bandaid,
or a tissue no matter which, is a certified proof,
somehow a message got through the clutter,
marked “well received,” that loving well requires
an oh so very hard attention to details, and that deep pockets
are repositories of good notions, handed down generations

June 24, 2021

Shell Beach
Nat Lipstadt
Written by
Nat Lipstadt  M/nyc
(M/nyc)   
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