Precious Boy

When our son came home to Michigan for winter break
from the fancy college we’d sent him to in Illinois
his head now exploding with idea grenades
demolishing the scaffolding of lessons
his mom and I had dutifully taught him
as our parents had done for us
trying our best
to ready him for the world he’d soon inherit
he took care to acknowledge my financial support of his scholarly aspirations
expressing deep appreciation and mad respect
before asking me
with concern painted on his face like too much makeup
how did I feel
spending almost my entire adult life
working on the factory assembly line
I told him I could imagine a million other jobs
I might have enjoyed more
less repetition and so forth
but the God’s honest truth
every time I see a Chevy Tahoe
and some editions of the Equinox
I think to myself
I built that
sort of how I feel
every time I look at you
my precious boy

Photo by Szilvia Basso

MK Punky

Born in Chicago, raised in Milwaukee, MK Punky is the author of many books, most recently The Unexpected Guest (Diversion Books), a memoir of befriending and housing a homeless neighbor. “Precious Boy” is excerpted from MK’s upcoming collection The Year of When, 365 poems beginning with the same word.