You are the boy
Who saved up six months
For a crested gecko
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,
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),
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.