The high chair is folded in the corner now;
The house is solemnly quiet;
The crackle of a fireplace log
Explodes the silence; Ryan is gone.
He left images behind:
A throng of admirers for the mealtime show;
Fingers fluttering like bird wings
In enthusiastic acclaim
As new energy flows far too slowly
From a tiny silver spoon,
Dipped and fulfilled in love.
Young aunts vie for the next holding,
Vainly hoping for gentle cuddling;
Invariably wrestling instead.
Blonde head and sturdy frame in vibrant motion:
Grasping, testing, mouthing, discarding;
Hungry eyes quick and hands darting
To the next color or shape or touch;
Bright, fresh days with so much new,
Somehow we sense an emerald world, too.
A gaze fixes on the gray ghosts
Of branches and leaves,
Acting out a pantomime on a sunlight wall;
A wondering glance as a bird twitters by;
Another for a plane cutting the sky.
There's reflection, about a car he can hear,
Or the friendly sway of a dog drawing near.
By turn, pensive and crowing
And bellowing his pique;
Softening the din with a fleeting half-grin,
Traceable to a Gallagher kin.
A confused parting at the inevitable train;
Relaxing now, not prone to roam,
But settling down for wheels winding home.
He favors me with a discovery glance,
Of unusual duration;
Its impact so direct and warming,
I still return to Union Station;
The blue message, transmitted wordlessly:
"You're the only one in the world for me."