The Longest Goodnight: A Poem

“Goodnight, my Special Boy”, I would say…

Every night when I tucked him in after our story;

He was my first born

Always smiling and full of great joy…

…filling my life as a young father with purpose and laughter.

“Goodnight, my Special Boy”, I would say…

Even has he grew older,

And we still worked our way through longer books

And explored adventures together…

…as my life a husband began to grow red and swollen—

Like my wounds.

“Goodnight, my Special Boy”, I would say….

After mommy and I would have our usual evening “disagreement”;

And stories and books failed to be read

In favor of blaming and cursing and new stories of hurt…

…and as my life became one of protecting him and becoming a shield

“Goodnight, my Special Boy”……., I cried.

As impotent tears welled up and fell from my eyes

That night his mommy sent him away…

…he had stood up to her after all; and that wasn’t to be tolerated—

..as I watched him pack a small duffle bag and shuffle off into the night;

Into the world.

“Goodnight, my Special Boy…..” I wept and ached,

As I got his text–

That he was sleeping on a playground slide

In the cold…

And the damp…

And I was too afraid to go and join him.

“Goodnight, my Special Boy”….I sighed and longed

As an angel came and took him in,

To shelter and keep him safe

And to watch over him so that

He would not be left alone

To pay for sins he hadn’t done..

…For his father’s failure to be a father.

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