by Greg Pape
My seven-year-old son draws a series
of strong hearts. He puts a face on the heart,
eyes that look straight out at the world,
a single line for eyebrows and nose,
a confident smiling or smirking mouth
unafraid to speak, poised and ready there
in the center of the face of the heart.
Where ears should be, arms curl out
flexing biceps round as baseballs.
The long legs are ready to run or dance
or jump the hurdles placed before the heart.
These drawings speak clearly of the spirit
in him. Father, they say, dont scold me.
I am proud. There is so little difference now
between the outer and inner life.
Father, they say, guard me
with your love, and I will go on
being strong when you are gone.
The above is excerpted from a ten-part poem entitled, Album. Professor Greg Pape teaches creative writing at UM and is the father of two sons, Coleman and Clay. The computer drawings are by Coleman Pape.