Tuesday, April 20, 2010

For my father


My son asks me
I cannot answer

"Do owls wink?"
as he is falling asleep,
tired small hand slipping
down my neck

"Do lions stand on their
hind legs?"

I believe he will always
ask what I cannot answer.

My father says
all the great decisions
in his life
were made before he was born.

He says he did everything he could
to rescue me
but then had to let me go -
his father told him to,
I have no answer for him either.

Only now do I understand
how much he lost.

My daughter cries
because her father dances
with me, his love,
after dinner to our favorite song,
"Remember when..."

It is the song he sang to me
in the middle of our grief that June
when he resigned from a job serving
the young people he loved.

Only now do I understand how much
he lost.

He was choosing me,
he was choosing us,
he was choosing God, even as people
thought he was not.

And only now do I understand
how much that choice has cost him.
Our love has cost him.
My rescue has cost him.

I cannot answer my daughter,
I have no words to explain
that someday her prince will come
but her daddy is mine.
She does not yet understand

My father says I would've had an
incredible life with him.
I believe him but
still cannot answer.

How do I tell him how much
these years have meant to me?

How do I explain the years in between?
The years of being split
right down the center.

How do I tell him that I dreamed
Jesus came, sat on my bed?
I couldn't sleep
clutching a butter knife under my pillow
I was so afraid.

I cannot explain that though fear
was my first memory,
love overcame it entirely.

I believe I have been given
a good life.
And I can answer now
that my rescue has come...

How do I tell my father
that he can leave now whenever
its time?
I'm here now.
He has helped rescue me
after all these years.

"How long are Jesus' arms?"
asks my inquisitive one as
he is finally drifting off to sleep
yet again,
"Can they reach up the stairs?"
I tell my young son, "very long."
"He has reached all the way down
from heaven
and rescued
you and me."

1 comment:

  1. Wow...It's hard to comment on such heart felt words. I can't wait to share this with Sugeil. I am sure she'll have much to say about the words that you shared from your soul.

    Thank you Elizabeth.