This series of poems were written over a period of time. The first portion was published in “The Penwood Review” several years ago. This is for all the parents watching their child through the process into becoming an adult.
Tanner I : Pre-Pubescent
He dances jazz in the upstairs hall. His back
and thigh dewed from an evening bath—
An Adonis, a young David, a newly cast Adam.
With pubescence I learned to clothe the transformation.
Close out siblings’ curiosity.
Became private in discovery,
the wonder of my own nakedness.
He does not know or guess…
That a fragment of apple peel,
millennia old, will catch in his throat
as he laughs a broken octave, lower.
His dance will become wrapped in veils—
safe from the eyes of the world,
free only in the sequestered haven of his room,
behind a locked door.
Tanner II-III Early to Mid-Adolescence
A towel enshrouds his elongated dripping form.
He flees from bathroom to bedroom
and with practiced speed, slams the door.
Its hours more
before a clothed, gawky
child – man emerges
a hand span taller
than the day before…
Tanner IV Late Adolescence
Muscles bulge with weights
one lift at a time
Body-conscious: the hair washed and combed
deodorant applied without parental hints
teeth flash white in a rare, sudden smile
And not unusual for him
to“stay up all night and eat anything
sleep until the sunsets with no regrets.
c.Darlene Moore Berg