Labor Day

Labor Day

I see only his wet, 
blond hair peeking out
from this sanctuary
he has made.
Damp from the day, 
with his towel wrapped closely,
this youngest child of mine
sought warmth
and found it here,
pressed against my chest.
 
He sleeps. 
 
He sleeps with whispered breaths
as his sister and brother play,
each making the most
of their own last moments here.
 
He sleeps not knowing
that another of youth’s
precious summers has passed. 
 
In that moment
before the gentle rise
of his next breath,
he pushes deeper into my chest,
and his hand slips loose
from his haven. 
I take it in mine,
feeling his fingertips.
 
They are still wrinkled
from the day.

I will need
to call the others over soon,
and I will need to interrupt
the childish dreams
of this precious boy,
for the time to leave this place
for the day,
for the year,
is near. 
 
The time when we begin
life’s next season.
 
The time when these wrinkles,
these beautiful marks
of a fortunate childhood,
will fade.