All That Fits: A Poem

Weeks went by;

Moments too slow to number….

Moments that piled up with memories of shouts and pain;

Listening to the endless failures he had committed

Enduring humiliation upon shame…

And stepping in to keep his child from another beating.

Days went by…

Hours too slow to number…

Where he lay awake and planned and schemed,

Ashamed at first, after all he was a man; men don’t cry–

Then, desperate, to flee and save himself

And to keep his child from taking the blame for his sins.

Hours went by…

Minutes too slow to number…

There had been a windfall come his way, something he’d kept hidden—

Like a treasure buried deep on an island of safety…

He had finally found the courage to admit he might just only be a man;

But he was also worthy of love and dignity,

And he would make the way for his child to be protected.

Minutes went by….

Seconds too fast to count;

She was leaving for work and he had called in sick—a lie, of course;

He’d become good at that you know…for survival,

And he fondly stroked the envelope in his back pocket

Which contained his release papers from a prison with no bars—just a ring.

Seconds went by;

And she had gone—

He gathered all he could find that only belonged to him;

Didn’t want any warfare over “shared” things….

Just the clothes for his back and the things from his parents long dead;

He placed the letter on the table and, with sudden panic,

fled the door and ran for a new life.

He’d told the boy, of course—

He’d told him so he wouldn’t be scared and so he knew he was coming for him;

…and how to meet him if he was unsafe or scared.

But the boy had become a man, and told his Dad he would be OK…not to worry;

That he would wait for him to have a place,

And then would come and they would heal together.

Hours went by.

And all that he could show

For years upon years of pain and rage

Fit easily in a hotel closet… Save for his soul; his new world filled it now

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