Putting My Son to Bed

There are moments so sacred 
that I can only share them in a poem.
When I am reading to
my son in his rocking chair.

Curious George and Sesame Street.

Or when he begins to suck his 
wrist, that thing which soothes
him best. That’s when I know he
is ready. Opening his arms into mine. 

I cradle him. He is getting too big 
to cradle but I do it anyways. I 
pray the same prayer that I have 
prayed since he was 40 minutes old.

We take refuge in the Buddha. 
We take refuge in the Dharma. 
We take refuge in the Sangha. 

Repeat three times, ending with 
an Om chant. I am still amazed but 
not surprised that he knows Om- 

The first words of believers anywhere.

I then carry him to the crib and drop him
on a pillow of books and stuffed animals.

He sucks his wrist some more and I kiss
him on his forehead.

I blow him kisses and tell him that I love him. 

If I am lucky he says bye bye Dada.
I smile and turn off the light.

Contented to know that 
I have put my son to bed.

George Cassidy Payne is a poet from Rochester, NY. His work has been included in such publications as the Hazmat Review, Moria Poetry Journal, Chronogram Journal, Ampersand Literary Review, the Angle at St. John Fisher College, and 3:16 Journal. George’s blogs, essays and letters have appeared in the USA Today, Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, the Havana Times, the South China Morning Post, the Buffalo News, and more. 

See all his poems on Tea House here.

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