(My tabs are not showing up correctly so I'm breaking the poem into stanzas.)
I watch his elbows bend forward and back
pulling the laces into a mismatched V,
overwhelmed by his six-year old fingers.
It’s all in the wrists I want to tell him,
But I just watch, keep the knot of a mouth
it’s right-over-left, left-over right,
the leveraging of weight, willing the strings
to make their connections. Then there are the loops,
those incredible bunny ears—one side too short,
the other unwraps in his hands.
He wants to give up, leave behind
his black sneaks for his Velcro shoes and play outside
before evening comes. Still, I say nothing,
urge him to try again because it doesn’t get any easier.
Thumb to index finger, I say,
gather, fold, tie, twist.