Happy Guy

Some mothers keep it all—
Every little thing the lost child
loved or touched or made.
I wasn’t such a mother.
I wanted only a few keepsakes—
made more precious by the value
he had given them.
His favorite thing was my favorite thing—
which was one of his earliest drawings
he called “Happy Guy”—
a big blue head with a tiny blue body
that made us howl every time
he pulled it from the scrapbook.
Some perfect combination
of cartoon eyes and a wild open grin
turned us upside down.
He used to sneak up behind me
when I was at the sink or at my desk
and shove it between me and my task
and we would squeeze each other
while we laughed.
And now I only think about the box
in the closet which contains it.
I know where it is if I need it.
The image hasn’t changed,
but my reaction is somewhat altered.
Everything now is so much altered.


DeMaris Gaunt


2 thoughts on “Happy Guy”

  1. There are some postings where pushing “like” just doesn’t feel appropriate.
    There is little I can say to your post except that I read it and being the father of a child I love have as much understanding as anyone who has not been through what you’re going through can. Perhaps I can say nothing more except that I cannot stand silent as if uncaring. So, I offer you in a prayer the hope that somehow you’ll find meaning in life again and moments of joy that grow into acceptance of this thing which seems impossible to believe or to bear. I will be holding you in my heart and sharing your tears.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you so much for your generous and sincere response to my poem. I must tell you, however, that my son is very much alive. He chose to live with his dad last summer (when he was 13…he’s now 14) and I’ve been having a very hard time with the separation. I realize that this poem could easily be interpreted to mean I lost my child through death, and in fact, I wrote it as I was feeling his absence in a profound way. Every word in the poem is true, though. Even when I refer to him as “the lost child.” I feel the loss of him every day. Your compassion is no less beautiful and appreciated…


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