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For My Sons
by Christine Klocek-Lim

I remember the April rain
when my first child moved
inside like an oceanó
the tides of his growing
ground gently in the womb,
followed the moon's schedule
where midnight was a sweet time.

I lay down often to listen
to his heart.
I held no remorse.
Now, the color of his heritage
frightens even the willow bent outside
in the wind that always comes.
The future will catch my sons
and put them where it will,
perhaps in cages
where the salt of racism
is strong on the tongue.

Now, I sit here, safe from rain.
I wait for the moment
remorse comes home from school.
I wait for my sons to tell me
that their skin is wrong,
their eyes are strange,
and why?
They'll trust that I have an answer,
but the rain cannot go up
once it's down.

Every morning the news shows
the blooming of the future
not so different from the past.
Because a mother bears a promise
to open doors,
bind wounds with kisses,
this hollow fear is a familiar sorrow.
My sons' name means tree,
but roots can only hold
so long as the land allows.

first printed in Inside Out: A Gathering of Poets October 2004, Tombolo Publishing

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