One Mother’s Son

Conceived in poverty
raised in a working man’s home
taught a trade

Catching his dream only to have it stolen
doing the bidding of a father
so much more to give
duty bound

Did he fulfill one father’s demands
or watch it all turn to sand and flow
between his fingers
desperately grasping

Will death be a comfort to this
one mother’s son
or will he cry out in pain
recognising his betrayer as he gasps

Will he stare at the horizon
willing the sun to hold back from setting
begging for one more moment one more breath
preferring the pain to oblivion

And will he surrender at last and breathe
It is done as tears fall on his cooling cheeks
and jackals gather to gnaw on his bones

Oh that in death he could meet
one loving father’s embrace
and hear
you did well, son,
you did well.

This poem began as a poem about my dad, and then became a poem about Jesus, too. Or the other way around. I’m not sure now. It just took shape around 3.15 am.

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