"I Love the Sound of Your Name"

I love the sound of your name

It was my grandmother's name of course
and I loved her dearly and deeply
but the sound of your name
I speak it softly sometimes when you're not here
the syllables make me smile
almost uncontrollably
it happens every time

It is of course because
it conjures the image of you
now, as you are
seven and free of most worldly cares
running, laughing, joking
only beginning to be aware
of all that this hard world will demand of you
and impose upon you
simply because of your gender and your background
despite all my protestations and refusals to participate
in acceding to societal demands and cultural expectations
I cannot stop them
I may only deflect them for awhile
but in the end my stand against them
is destined to be as foolhardy as the sand castle at the edge of the sea

I am keenly aware of how fleeting this time is
that you will be your age, and I mine
for only this time
and we can never go back
it will never be like this again
these moments will become memory
as endangered as any other with the passing of the years
it is a curse of my age to know this

And yet, today is today
we are right here, you and I
you are seven, and that will not change tonight
or tomorrow
we are who we are and where we are
right now
and nobody can take that from me but me
being too worried about how fast time goes
if I allow it
it will rob me like a thief
taking away the enjoyment of this very moment
which is in no more hurry and of no different length
than any other

Soon it will be time to walk up to school to get you
and as usual I will leave late and walk fast
perhaps you will want to linger on the playground with friends
and I'll agree, because moments are precious, as are our friends
and when we walk home we will take our time
because we can
and because we are in no hurry

Those moments belong to you and me
and I can't imagine any better way to spend them
I might even say your name a couple of extra times
just because

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