Sunday, November 1, 2015

Poem for My Grandsons, Colin and Robby

Walking Across Frozen St. Mary’s Lake (January 1967)

I am walking through the woods and gardens
Of Holden Arboretum, holding the hands of my precious
Grandsons, Colin and Robby.

They cannot know what they mean to me,
Cannot know that I dreamed them into being—ha ha! --

. . . in the bitter cold winter of ’66-67,
me walking across the frozen St. Mary’s Lake,
At the University of Notre Dame.
The Golden Dome shining in the crisp night,
The spire of Sacred Heart Basilica,
The glow of the candles at the Grotto—

Me imagining two little boys, one holding my left hand,
One my right, as we tromp across the lake.
Me, rehearsing in my mind ways to explain to your mother
Why this was safe, why this is good—

A controlled adventure,
A thing the boys won’t forget—
Doing something amazing and magical
At this special place, this special night,
With a man who shares their genes and blood—

Boys, I imagined you long ago, I conjured you
When I was 18 years old
On a frozen winter night,
On a frozen lake, long ago,
I dreamed you!

These amazing boys, this fierce love,
This bottomless gratitude.

       Bob Coughlin / October 25, 2015

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