The Father's Passion
by Tom Baker

My child, my child
I am sorry but
I can only sit with you
and weep.
I cannot make you someone
you are not.
I cannot peel away the pain
that clings to you
like hot jelly
or water your dry lungs
that flap and clatter
in death's dry wind.

You are stronger than you think: stronger
than any of my wonders in you promised,
stronger than all the seeds
I ever pressed into the earth
or any hurricane
that ever whispered in a prophet's dream.

Oh, my son, my boy
ragged with a loneliness
that even my winters never know----laboring
(how that word details my grief) laboring
you lift yourself to breathe
and so must rub your back raw, ripped open,
winking with wounds----that back
you never showed me
now a screaming peacock fresco.

I cannot watch the end of you.
I must turn away; but no
no please do not say that I have left.
My eyes are upon another world.


© Copyright Tom Baker 2019- 2008