A Boy and His Gecko

You are the boy


Any other,

Who saved up six months

For a crested gecko

Named Geico.

You look into his slitty eyes

And see his little lizard soul,


You plopped pennies and nickels,

Quarters, dollar bills, and a half dollar

On the pet shop counter

For the yellow one with a nice burnt tint

To his scales.

“Not as jumpy as the others,” said the lanky kid counting the change.

Geico lept onto my face a few days later.

Which gave you a great laugh,

Your head thrown back,

Eyes alight.

Those same delighting eyes

Comforted my aching mama heart one Sunday night

When you sat in your infant carrier at six months.

You saw through my scales to my core and smiled,

Knowing light feet and sticky fingers

Help us stick to glass.

I couldn’t find Geico yesterday,

When you weren’t home.

No need to panic.

He’s got camoflauge.

I poked my fingers in the mulch

Until I unearthed him in the corner

He glared at me for disturbing his reptilian siesta.

I told you what happened.

You said, “Of course.

He sleeps there,” knowing your new friend

Best because you watch each other,

You, holding him eye-to-eye on your arm,

Or cupped in your hands.

He hangs upside down from his habitat and watches you sleep.

Occasionally, he licks his eye.

Today you are eight.

Over your big-little life you have been Spiderman,

Imagineer of your own planet Kylota,

(Pizza, the planetary food),

Pirate buccaneer,

Minecraft master builder,

The kid who dropped a rock on his head.

Will you be a scuba-diving paleontologist

Or the next Jacques Cousteau?

I can’t wait to find out!

You are figuring out how to be

The smart kid with a super-sense of love and fairness.

Your school desk looks like it threw up,

That’s a sign of brilliance, I’m told.

You beam when you hand us Lego sculptures

Or a hand-scrawled piano composition.

You’ve written books and poems,

Tried to teach yourself Portuguese.

Your heart is in sync with the universe, forever expanding.

Today you are eight,

Unlike any other.

Today you are a boy and his gecko.

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February 21, 2017