3000 Days

sometimes I wonder what color
his eyes are
and what kind of man he's grown
to be.
my heart tells me I should know, but
my soul tells me that I'm far too old -
            it's too late.
would he have called me "dad" ?
            if only I had tried, just a
                        little more.
the pain isn't as bad with my frie-
            alcohol, and the clouds.
                        time's up.
it all seems so blurry, the smoke,
             it all has good reason...
                        good reason.
3000 days later
she tells me I need to call him,
and see him. Graduation
is just around the corner.

 "I'm sorry, Teresa."

I can't say it enough,
I don't think.

Mom tells me I need to call him
today -

it's hard. workin' a cell phone.
tiny buttons. they seem to get
smaller, sometimes. anxiety.

 what will his voice sound like?

 his brother answers:     Hello?
"Joshua?"
Who is this?
"This is your Dad!"

a pause - long, and hard.
we talked. smart kid -
smarter than me.
told me about his classes,
and he used words that
made him seem like a
republican, he tells me
it was good talkin'.
still young. fourteen years,
but his voice was strong.

 strong heart, too.

"Is your brother there?"
Zachary?
"Yes sir!"
I wonder, how old do I
sound?
How empty?
Lemme go see. hold on,
 Dad.
I hear him shuffle,
and after a moment of whispering,

he's not there.

found out later I
put the kid in tears.
no - not the little one.
Zachary. Yeah. It was
because I'd called.

Come back from the
dead,
I 'spose.

he called me back later that
afternoon.

he was polite. mad.
he didn't mean to sound it,
but I could tell.

I imagined a tear slipping
outta his grasp,
and I was the one to
brush it off his red cheeks.
I was the one to take him
to school, and to the park.
I imagined giving him all
the money I could muster,
just to be forgiven.

I imagined his heart
in the palm of my hand,
unbroken.

we planned to meet on
the following Sunday.

 - I'm gettin' all nervous,
y'know that?
sittin' here in mom's
van, waitin' on
them to get here.

it's quarter past a time
I don't exactly know
anymore. My hair
is thinned, and
grey. I was
scared to
say his
name.

Forever, their names have
been burnt into my skin;

taking a lighter
to my wrinkled
face, I wonder,
if I brush away
the dust, will
they recognize
me?

 I saw them pull
into the parking lot.
Drove Teresa's car. Yeah.
They got out, and he stood tall
Skinny. Dark, and brave, for forgiveness.

 what was it I asked, earlier? :

 "sometimes I wonder what color
his eyes are
and what kind of man he's grown
to be."

 

his eyes are brown.
just like his mother's.

and he's a far better man
then I prayed he would be.

The End

0 comments about this poem Feed