My Tender Son (sonnet for my youngest)

Matt eating ice creamA tender son my loins begot
Yet peers said, “Raise him rough.
If he’s to see his chosen lot
You must make him tough.”
So on such poor advice I tried
To be rough with my child,
But found it my own heart belied
T’ward my gift so young and mild.
I found their ways too brutish so
I tried soft love instead,
I championed his every move
And poured belief upon his head,
He makes me proud it seems each turning of the Sun,
I’m proudest that my tender son is still my tender son.

-Donald R. Sansbury, 2013

My Rugged Son (sonnet for my firstborn)

Marc cutting up as a boy-2A rugged son my loins begot.
My peers said, “Break him now,
Or you’ll regret it come the months
When you’re standing brow to brow.”
So I thrashed him ’til ’twas I who cried,
Then I reasoned deep within the why,
If God had given him a warrior’s might
Should I then set to make him meek and mild.
So I endeavored to train him then to be,
my rugged child with warlike traits,
the man only God looking forth could see,
one day His grace and love would make.
I’m proud of him now grown, and yet my rugged child,
He’s a man among men, a gentle man…unless he’s unduly riled.

-Donald R. Sansbury, 2013