For My Nephew, Jaivyn
I wake to hear your banshee cry at night,
a plea of “I want Daddy!” You don’t see,
can’t understand, you’re only four. Despite
your charm, your dad’s an absentee.
I kiss your forehead. Sweat and tears combine
and meet my lips. How long until we rest?
No one can know; your cries do not define
Our weariness, just these nights, left unblessed—
which somehow seem to fade as your eyes close.
And as your breathing evens, so does mine.
I set you in your crib. For now, repose
will rule your toddler dreams and soothe our minds.
I promise, Jaivyn, please hold me to
my word: these arms will not abandon you.