I watch him.
His pale and blemished skin,
Sporadically sprouting hairs on his beautiful face.
I watch him, head held in two hands,
Feet tapping robotically on the rosewood chair.
Oblivious to the slap of the passing dog’s tail
and the burst of perfume from the recently opened lilies.
A familiar ping solicits his attention
Like a programmed command. His phone is his captor.
Then a long sigh drains from somewhere deep, near his gut,
Reporting his not so hidden torment.
His pain is my pain.
His fears are my fears, only sharpened for impact.
If I could, I would take the burden that strangles him now
And I would wear that noose for him.
If I could, I would put my fingers in the hair that was once baby golden
And tell him this will pass.
His young eyes cannot see the way that life finds a way
To heal and teach and stretch out before him.
My words fall on fledgling ears.
In the silence I will be here beside him.
Today’s heavy load will be his teacher.
Until then, I will cover both sides of the road.