Monday, April 22, 2013

To My Son Leaving Town


Travel lightly. What you carry in your heart is weight enough for the journey.
You've learned, in that fire, something of what forging can be: hammering
creates shape in the fierceness of the living. And love does burn.

Sing wildly. In the face of the dead daily blanket of doubt that any dreamer
must counter, shake your fists as you plunge your body into yet another round
of steps in the only dance that counts: the intricate shaping of your own braid.

Stand unflinching. Look directly at things without demurral.
Know solid truth bone deep and meet the wave.

You ran into my arms, at five, like some steam train of love.
You wept in my arms when I left your mum.
A dozen years ago, heaving into your courage,
you told me blunt truths and stepped into your own light.

Now you're leaving. You have the lithe strength
and sharp mind of a whippet; the grace of a leaf falling.

I'll walk out and know myself loved. Can a father and son
be friends? Well, we sat that day at the cafe near the Cross
as you declared your broken heart and we talked of many things,
as men might. When I said goodbye to you, my own heart weeping,
I watched your departing back, wounded into its man's shape, gathering
its loneliness, and two sets of hands placed another stone in the wall -
standing back, surveying the work, sweaty, restless as horses,
we felt the wordless achievement trickle down our backs; infuse muscle.

I offer you the embracing arms of my love, and the firm shake of my hand.

May blessings attend your journey.


22 March 2013

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