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The Long Jump
Signe Eklund Schaefer


Building steam he lopes toward the jump line
then flies across the sand
landing in an easy squat
from which he rises gracefully
and calmly saunters off.
His father has sent a slow-motion video
which makes me think
the long jump a perfect sport
for this almost teen
this sweet grandson who begins
to find his beloved parents so trying,
a universal step of growing up
playing painfully through them all.
Once more I watch that moment aloft
arms and legs a gusting wind
all concentration on the airborne lunge.
I wish him such accomplished grace
right through the years to come
knowing that teenage limbs must flail
in the mighty leap toward self.

© by Signe Eklund Schaefer.
Used with the authorís permission.

Signe Eklund Schaefer articles and poems have appeared in several anthologies and journals and she is the author of four books, most recently, I Give You My Word - Women’s Letters as Life Support, 1973-1987, based on a box of old letters she found in her attic. Signe has lived and taught in many different countries, always pondering the mysteries of human life and development. Now retired, she has rediscovered the joy of inviting poems to express daily moments and memories. Signe lives in western Massachusetts with her husband of 50+ years.




Post New Comment:
Lori Levy:
Great metaphor--"the might leap toward self."
Posted 06/17/2019 04:45 PM
So true. I have a grandchild making that same long leap, amazing and frightening and all I can do is watch.
Posted 06/17/2019 12:37 PM
Glen Sorestad:
Wonderful, Signe!
Posted 06/17/2019 12:03 PM
I love the wisdom to allow these phases of necessity, and embrace them. I shared it with a friend whose grandchild is just at that age.
Posted 06/17/2019 11:49 AM
Fun and pertinent.
Posted 06/17/2019 09:58 AM
Congratulations Signe, on this wonderful depiction of what it feels like to occupy that seam of time when one is not yet a man, no longer a boy.
Posted 06/17/2019 08:38 AM
A beautiful poem that soars in I metaphor.
Posted 06/17/2019 08:09 AM

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