“Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” – Mark 10:15
Some poet said, consider the difference between “childish” and “childlike.”
A priest wrote, consider that the hallmark of children is trust.
I consider my son. He hasn’t yet been two years outside the womb.
In his booster seat, eyes wide, he surveys his kingdom: greasy plate,
crumby table, food “for later” dropped with care on the floor,
where all things are within his short, determined reach, his careless,
flat-foot tromping dominion. How much he doesn’t understand.
How much he may never. He reaches for me, tugs my arms
insistently, manipulates my thumb with an engineer’s precision,
crams exploring fingers between my lips and grips my teeth,
sticks his sticky fingers in my ears—the tug and push of otherness,
near-me and not-me, you, like me, but different. He doesn’t purse
his lips but bestows enthusiastic, sticky kisses with his whole face,
his cheek and mine squished together so tight not even a tear could
squeeze between. And he laughs, uncontrollably, open and deep,
I can see all his mountaining molars, the back of his tongue where
he won’t let me brush, and he laughs for nothing, for the miracles
of sight and touch, for joy of breath and belly-shaking movement, for me,
for how close and separate we are, for the debris of togetherness, for
painful proofs of affection; for the sharp-lit, heart-beating heaven of it all.
LeighAnna Schesser’s work has appeared in Transcendence Magazine, Verse-Virtual, Synaesthesia Magazine, Kindred, and Rose Red Review. Her chapbook Heartland is forthcoming from Anchor & Plume Press in 2016. She earned her M.F.A. at North Carolina State University. She lives in south-central Kansas with her husband, two children, half-wild garden, and many overstuffed bookshelves. She blogs at leighannaschesser.wordpress.com.