Happy Guy

Some mothers keep it all—
Every little thing the lost child
loved or touched or made.
I wasn’t such a mother.
I wanted only a few keepsakes—
made more precious by the value
he had given them.
His favorite thing was my favorite thing—
which was one of his earliest drawings
he called “Happy Guy”—
a big blue head with a tiny blue body
that made us howl every time
he pulled it from the scrapbook.
Some perfect combination
of cartoon eyes and a wild open grin
turned us upside down.
He used to sneak up behind me
when I was at the sink or at my desk
and shove it between me and my task
and we would squeeze each other
while we laughed.
And now I only think about the box
in the closet which contains it.
I know where it is if I need it.
The image hasn’t changed,
but my reaction is somewhat altered.
Everything now is so much altered.


DeMaris Gaunt


Published by demarisgaunt

I currently live in Greenwood, Indiana. I love to listen to music, books on CD, podcasts or NPR as I work in my studio.  My favorite artists are Andrew Wyeth and Edward Hopper. I love poetry, but only the good stuff that isn’t so abstract I can’t understand it. Abstraction better lends itself to visual art, I think. Stephen Dunn is my favorite poet. He’s said just about anything that can be said about the inner workings of the heart and mind. My favorite novel is Atonement by Ian McEwan. My all time favorite band is The Cure. I love science, and anything that relates to how the mind works. I don’t believe in the supernatural. If I could meet anyone in the world, it would be Richard Dawkins or Steven Pinker. If you don’t buy my art or read my poetry, buy one of their books. It will enrich if not change your life.  My favorite things to do are hiking, kayaking and camping. My favorite food is so common, I’ll keep you in suspense (It starts with a P). I prefer chocolate to vanilla. Green is my favorite color. I have an aversion to planning or scheduling of any kind, and I live for spontaneous adventures! Telephone conversations make me anxious, and I avoid them at almost all cost. I had a happy childhood. I’m having a pretty fantastic adulthood. I have every intention of seeing my 100th birthday, after which I will happily relinquish my guts to the future of medicine. Cheers! ~DeMaris

2 thoughts on “Happy Guy

  1. There are some postings where pushing “like” just doesn’t feel appropriate.
    There is little I can say to your post except that I read it and being the father of a child I love have as much understanding as anyone who has not been through what you’re going through can. Perhaps I can say nothing more except that I cannot stand silent as if uncaring. So, I offer you in a prayer the hope that somehow you’ll find meaning in life again and moments of joy that grow into acceptance of this thing which seems impossible to believe or to bear. I will be holding you in my heart and sharing your tears.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you so much for your generous and sincere response to my poem. I must tell you, however, that my son is very much alive. He chose to live with his dad last summer (when he was 13…he’s now 14) and I’ve been having a very hard time with the separation. I realize that this poem could easily be interpreted to mean I lost my child through death, and in fact, I wrote it as I was feeling his absence in a profound way. Every word in the poem is true, though. Even when I refer to him as “the lost child.” I feel the loss of him every day. Your compassion is no less beautiful and appreciated…

    Liked by 1 person

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