Knot Boy

He turns

four and all

of a sudden, he is

consumed with knots -

not undoing them,

though he has spent

his brief life undoing

folds of laundry,

stacks of blocks,

minutes of peace.

No, he ties knots -

never when I'm looking, see -

secret knots:

laces of shoes

(still on his feet)

tied to the TV stand,

doorstops, each other;

scarves bound to belt loops;

sleeves to Lincoln Logs.

This doing is always done

by the time I find him tied up.

Undoing, I picture

his nimble digits

weaving crossing twisting

not square, not stevedore,

not cat's paw, not slide,

not anything I've seen before.

Coils of wind?

Twines of ore?

Underground streams

veining into river?

As if he could ravel life

with his tiny fingers,

binding himself to it.

The clich haunts:

He's tied my heart in knots.

Only difference -

these have no undoing.

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