I first tied my laces
as a seven year old boy;
the joy outweighed the prospect
of an ice cream, or a toy.
Now, before we play outside
I show him how it’s done,
hoping he’ll persist
until his little struggle’s won.
I know he finds it difficult
and so I don’t explain
that laces aren’t the half of it.
I want to tell him, look again;
watch your hands, I want to say,
look at what your fingers do;
as if they don’t belong to you.
And that’s precisely how he feels;
but not exactly what I meant.
Unlike me, he doesn’t care
how fingers flex and tease and tent,
or how they clench in victory
when someone learns to use
those little magic wands
that tied the laces in his shoes.