by Laura Grace Weldon
Full names bestowed at birth are announced
as the capped and gowned cross the stage.
I'm teary for the first student,
still verklempt 390 graduates later
when the bright light I call my son
shakes the dean's hand.
In his final years my father's eyes
filled at a tender story or fond memory.
In his last minute, tears issued
a farewell he couldn't utter.
The older I get, the more my reservoir
spills over at a science journal's
a remembered song, an Instagram photo.
Soon I'll drip
like the icons of St. Mark Coptic church.
Not miraculous tears, just the world's beauty
overflowing, like every other member
of the Sacred Order of the Lachrymose,
prepared to daub my eyes
even at a baby's
peek-a-boo in the grocery store.
Her thick fingers clutching an apple,
me pared down to the core.
* * * * *
Laura Grace Weldon has published two poetry collections, Blackbird (Grayson 2019) and Tending (Aldrich 2013). She was named Ohio Poet of the Year for 2019. Laura works as a book editor and teaches community-based writing workshops. She lives with vast optimism on a small farm where she'd get more done if she didn't spend so much time reading library books, cooking weird things, and singing to livestock. Connect with her at lauragraceweldon.com