From our Friday poet

Bear hug

Griffin calls to come and kiss him goodnight

I yell ok. Finish something I’m doing,

then something else, walk slowly round

the corner to my son’s room.

He is standing arms outstretched

waiting for a bearhug. Grinning.

Why do I give my emotion an animal’s name,

give it that dark squeeze of death?

This is the hug which collects

all his small bones and his warm neck against me.

The thin tough body under the pyjamas

locks to me like a magnet of blood.

How long was he standing there

like that, before I came?

Michael Ondaatje


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