Crossing the Threshold
I remember the warm night of your sweet making.
Your mother, irresistible in the glow of the evening sun.
The most precious, most delicate, most beautiful woman,
I had ever held.
A quaint motel in Avalon.
Springsteen sang about the place of his birth.
Bob Seger enveloped us in rhapsodic reassurance about life,
winds and struggles.
Some three weeks later we were back in Ireland,
Some nine months later you were born.
I cut the umbilical cord you know,
Released you from your amniotic lair,
Not that I ever told you so.
We had high hopes for you.
Holy Trinity Primary, Cross and Passion High.
Good at sports,
A young man in his prime.
The teenage years - slightly withdrawn.
Relationships, most likely.
We didn't see it coming.
I cut the cord a second time,
Released you from your years on earth.
A coarse rope,
The stool lay on its side,
Your body, motionless, stiff, straight, rigid.
Your head collapsed hopelessly to one side.
A small trickle of blood stained your shirt.
I laid you down,
A halo of coldness surrounded you.
For a short while we were dead together.
An empty shed, a few bales of hay, a rough concrete floor.
There was no dignity,
No way to end a young life.
I saw a corpse hanging,
I cut down a corpse,
I held a corpse,
I wept over a corpse,
I covered a corpse.
The cold remains of my son.
I told your mother.
She fell apart.
She never recovered.
An old woman now,
Aged beyond her years.
On occasion, she chats with the priests of the parish.
Rarely is anyone welcome in her world.
Sometimes an aproned woman will seek to hold court.
Only the bread is welcomed.
As for me,
A tired heart.
You are all the hurt I've known,
All the hurt I'll need,
Still sailing a stormy sea,
Still lost in self-mutiny.