On My Lap

While we try to teach our children about life, our children teach us what life is all about. Angelia Schwindt

Just days before the diagnosis,
you dropped onto my lap,
solid and sturdy, too big for the space.
Your body pressed against the arms of my desk chair,
legs dangling over mine to the floor.

My head was elsewhere,
distracted and deadline bound.
But when you asked, “Am I bothering you?”
your love broke through,
reminding me of what mattered more.

I stopped staring at the screen
as I buried my head on your chest.
Arms wrapped around each other,
matching your inhale with mine,
I breathed you in at all ages.

You on the cusp of high school,
my little boy still.
Neither of us yet knowing the way
cancer would ravage our lives,
the fierce bond between us the only path through.

It wasn’t the last time
you crawled into my lap.
Yet it is the one my body most remembers.
When my priorities were clear,
and you were all I could see.

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