Map of My Heart

I try I pull my children
from the city
and its viral air,
but they live
like rebels
saying no,
maybe, it’s ok,
wandering as nomads
through the skate parks
and pizza parlours,
singing I Love You
by Trippie Redd
then disappearing.
Tears come to me
like a gutter full 
of rainwater 
from my chest.
I’m full of
another day’s weather,
the echoes 
of childhood.
I’m so awfully,
Youngest son 
comes home
dragging his skateboard,
wearing pants
the colour
of Saharan dunes:
I make him dinner,
run my fingers
through his hair.
My eldest,
sweet 18,
texts me endlessly
as we argue 
about what’s realistic.
It goes on forever,
till I surrender
and beg him
to understand the era:
then a last text
to say I love you,
you’re my eldest son,
now is the time 
to talk and be honest,
we need to work as one.
Yes, Dad, yes.
My daughter last,
coming from
the train station.
I get so agitated
I have to meet her
on the corner.
I see her 
between shadows
and a golden angled light
that paints the street,
plugged into her 
dancing as she walks,
nearly 16
she says,
like I don’t know that
and need reminding.
She’s had sushi with friends
in old Newtown,
she wears a Johnny Cash T-shirt, 
hip-hop-style baggy jeans,
hair dyed black.
Beautiful girl
I like to walk
beside you
in the quiet dark.
Three children,
three points 
on this earth,
map of my city,
map of my heart.

Mark Mordue ©

Poem written in the Inner West of Sydney, 21st March 2020.