Walking the Child
Your flickering comfort is here with us
As we stride, he and I
Little Liam riding his bike, stopping now and again
Saying to you, “You would like it here, by golly!”
The geese, the stream
Lost in my ruminations, your heaven within my earth
And his –
He hands me a stick to walk with
He has whittled its end
Like yours, he tells me,
“Like my Gramp’s, by golly!”
You’re living on in him, Dad
And in me
In our pledges of pain, our laggard steps
Following in your own
Onward, we’re Grandpa’s team now!
Our great celebration for you inside
Where, as here, beavers have done their landscaping
You never know what you’ll mean to someone
A young boy, the masses
Until you’re gone –
Remember how your hand held mine
As we walked each day?
And I would reach to pet Meng’s kitty
Around and around merry go round stop sign
To your songs –
And then we’d listen for the tinkle-plop of a stone in the well
And under the magic pine tree we’d have tea
Eat a pine needle treat
Then around the corner we’d roll down the hill
Only to scramble back up and roll down again
And if it was muddy, we’d laugh
Off to the maple tree for a hat, a nose so sticky!
I remember the melancholy was palpable
On the day, that day, I chose friends over you
A neighborhood boy capturing my attention
How suddenly I left you walking alone –
And now you, me
The onslaught of death, how I hurried home with prayers
Please God, don’t take my father!
Tears didn’t matter anymore, only our twinfire eyes
Daddy thank you, Dad of gentleness, how we miss you
Your spirit sings inside us, always the music
And for you, the dearest of applause.
© 2012 Christine Thomas Tsen. All Rights Reserved
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