For the Growing Boy


Dwayne Lawson-Brown, aka the Crochet Kingpin, is co-host of Spit Dat, the longest running open mic in Washington, D.C. Born and raised in Washington, D.C., they have performed and hosted at The Kennedy Center, Woolly Mammoth Theater, Keegan Theater, The Strathmore, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, and others.

In the poem below, Lawson-Brown pays tribute to their son, who, over the course of the poem, grows older. “We often mourn youth, but when writing this poem, I had a chance to reflect on the gift of ‘this’ time. I get to be an adult with a growing son. I get to enjoy who he has become and who he is becoming. There is a simple joy in being present for the present,” they say.

This poem appears in Breaking the Blank, co-authored with Rebecca Bishophall, published by Day Eight in November 2022.

For the Growing Boy

When you were younger

You would sleep on my chest

I’d watch you rise and fall with each exhale

A reason for breathing

As you grew

You’d reach for my controller

Become player 2

Dream of making your own games

I pray we never outgrow our time

You grip the guitar neck

Like the world owes you your shot

It does

I will block anyone tending your goals

A father is proud of his son today


E to A

Failure and success

You are my light

You are your own light

Keep shining.