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Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Return


An old shame has knocked on the door
to make remembrance dance painfully
With each footstep it is silly to feel
the growing of it that is best
turned over to an erasable yesterday

Father's parents are coming to visit
They are sitting on the patio
in padded redwood chairs
waiting for the grandchildren
to greet them since they rarely cross town

The one child missing from the greeting
is having trouble finding pants to wear
because they don't properly fit
as buttons won't button and zippers won't zip
these pants too small on a growing child

Eventually the mother takes an arm
to pull him out into the summer night
in a t-shirt and underwear
Grandmother says it doesn't matter
Grandpa smiles through his gold wire glasses

The hugs aren't remembered if given
That's what should be important
No amount of erasing will wipe away
the truth of these embarrassments
It is truth that begs its writing

Such moments return with a lowered head
even when years are suppose to drop
away as a child grows to manhood
then into the aged years grass of the path
of a man is worn away beneath his feet

It is the child inside who feels a failure
The adult also lets such emotions drain
into the same pot that becomes
so overwhelming no amount of self-advising
will knock down the castle of shame

If only hugs could free ourselves in a family
that rarely hugged or held a hand
Reassurance and forgiveness at any age
wipes away all of the dark stains
the created imaginations of a fleeing child

That child is still running to the unknown
to beg for a moment of unfiltered kindness
as he cries for all the times he paused
to hold his self reflected in smaller socks
running around the home he left behind


Barry G. Wick






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