My Son

starts so innocently
running, laughing, a game
the speed increases
the laughing turns to gasping
the game a competition
and then the slightest stumble
and the bustle becomes catastrophe

my precious little boy romping and playing
becomes like a top off kilter
his kind eyes flash
the hand that just held mine comes at me swinging
and the sing song voice turns harsh

as the pace increases
and the activity intensifies
he no longer feels the joy and rhythm
but instead teeters on the edge of control
a top at the end of its spin

I watch his focus on people and things blur
as he turns aware only of his own energy
needing help and connection
but whirling so fast
he only flails and strikes those closest to him

in the face of the chaos
I feel my own focus blur
he spins so fast, out of control
the energy and anxiety tempt me to strike
a scream rises in equal proportion

but in a moment of grace
a rare in-breaking of calm
more desperation than wisdom
I kneel
a barrier to his momentum
an embrace to receive his energy

and then he is able
only then is he safe
to pull back
and look in my eyes
and again we find focus