On the morrow my eldest
Grandson has a birthday
And I wonder;
What did it mean to be thirteen?
What was the rage, this coming of age?
Watching the world from the crown of a pine
Into which I’d climbed, by dint of strength,
Tooth and nail. Without fail,
at least one rickety branch protesting
the restlessness of youth.
In love with the light and alive in the dark.
Who could resist teasing maidens in the park?
They suddenly looked so much different to me,
With their subtle curves and swells,
A sight which now befell
A breathless devil amidst flocking angels.
And if by providence, a lift to the beach
Should tarry my eyes within their blessed reach?
These same toned Wahines in Band-Aid bikinis!
Surfboard in hand, I felt like a man!
And least I forget, the time that I spent
Canoeing the creeks and the rivers.
With a Lab at my side, together we’d glide
‘til God painted the day to conclusion.
I relish the recollection of those memories made;
the wind through the glades.
A Boy-scout is brave, but also clean and reverent.
Though two out of three’d been plenty for me
showers seemed suddenly more prudent.
So what will he be, this lad that I see
A holograph of the wild-thing I was?
What rite will Ben face in his passage of grace
On the threshold of cyber-space manhood?
The world as it changes is passed hand to hand
Generations compile into history.
The will to be free is what I bequeath,
Life and all of its mystery.
Poetry and Photography by SS Matthews