Poetry Thursday


Although he's apparently the youngest (his little rasta-beard is
barely down and feathers),
most casually connected (he hardly glances at the girl he's with,
though she might be his wife),
half-sloshed (or more than half) on picnic-whiskey teen-aged
father, when his little son,
two or so, tumbles from the slide, hard enough to scare
himself, hard enough to make him cry,
really cry, not partly cry, not pretend the fright for what must
be some scarce attention,
but really let it out, let loudly be revealed the fear of having
been so close to real fear,
he, the father, knows just how quickly he should pick the child
up, then how firmly hold it,
fit its head into the muscled socket of his shoulder, rub its
back, croon and whisper to it,
and finally pull away a little, about a head's length, looking, still
concerned, into its eyes,
then smiling, broadly, brightly, as though something had been
shared, something of importance,
not dreadful, or not very, not at least now that it's past, but
rather something...funny,
funny, yes, it was funny, wasn't it, to fall and cry like that,
though one certainly can understand,
we've all had glimpses of a premonition of the anguish out
there, you're better now, though,
aren't you, why don't you go back and try again, I'll watch you,
maybe have another drink,
yes, my son, my love, I'll go back and be myself now, you go be
the person you are, too.

-C.K. Williams

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