As a boy, I'd find my father
sitting in the pitch dark living room,
cigarette aglow, as I'd pass
from my bed to the bathroom.
Did the boy consider, at that late hour,
what plans or fears occupied the man?
Not at all, nor did the man share
with the passing boy what he thought.
Now he's gone. Back from that piss
and many another, I can well imagine
the mystery I must be to my son.
Has much changed but the date and where the man fought?
Most men, most times, abide in peace,
leastwise not always angry or afraid
they cannot save their children from the gas
or the abyss about which God lied.
Yet, when the boy comes through the room
in the movement of his body there's a sleepiness
to make the man cry for himself, his father
and the boy who'll soon sit in the dark occupied.
Copyright 2007 by Robert Ronnow.