Wednesday, April 25, 2012


by Kevin Cahill

My wife and I were there
when it happened,
right under our noses,
swift, silent, secret-
but not surreptitious -
our son left us for a time,
we saw him, we cared for him,
made sure he did not
step in front of the tram
or drop his fork from the table,
but he seemed not to notice
that we loved him so very much

he had gone,
his world a shiny new place
even as it shrank,
her face all he cared to know,
what he knew rendered
in the upturned gaze,
in how his steps marked hers,
in how he contrived at every turn
to be where she was,
her every move a first cause,
the distance between them
elastic and impermanent,
if I were to ask him
what is it?
he would not hear me,
besides, I already know -
not so easy to say as it is to see,
not so easy to explain as it is feel,
nothing quite so sweet as knowing
something you cannot tell

she opens her hand down by her side
bravely he reaches up,
he will not let go, not willingly, not soon,
her smile makes my own heart glad,
my son will be well with her
and by the time he is four or five years old
he won't remember her name
though his fingers may retain
an impression of something
neither he nor I will be able to explain,
especially not to ourselves.

October, 2006


Post a Comment

<< Home