If you like to think of God
as a metaphor for everything good
in the world,
I think that’s ok.
If you’re not sure
what faith really is,
it’s alright to say,
I don’t know.
If you can think positive
thoughts when everything around
is falling down,
Then you’re ahead of the game.
If you want to believe in love
when someone says something mean,
and it hurts more than you think you can bear,
then you’re already on your way.
Make small, little acts of love a big deal.
Make big, complex concepts seem small and easy to understand.
I give you this advice, little one.
Take what you like.
Leave what you don’t.
And be sure to give a whole lot away.
With all the love in the world,
The-last-great-goodbye came without so much of a wave.
There was no yelling like one might expect.
There was no final stand.
There was no reaching out and calling you back, dripping in sweat and tears.
I memorized your dark gray silhouette; watched it leave.
Watched it never come back.
I miss you.
That’s all I really wanted to say.
In fact, everything I say these days is just code for,
I miss you.
I’m wearing my dad’s shoes now and giving him advice. Or is it his necktie? I don’t know for sure. Boys will become fathers and fathers will become boys. Mothers will cry to their sons for hours on the telephone and sons will cover up the receiver so their mothers don’t hear them crying. Because now they’re the man.
Sons will leave long pauses in conversations. Thinking of chess boards. They will look right past you, through you, to the house where they grew up. They will be distant.
They will have trouble sleeping. They will realize some things about marriage. Mostly, it is choosing to love.
Sons will fumble through prepared speeches basically written on note cards to their fathers. They will say things like, “I hope you know…” and “I’ve been thinking…” and “For now…”
I hope you know I can’t bear to hear my mother cry like that. I will die before I let that happen again.
I’ve been thinking that you probably feel like you’re under a microscope. I know it will feel forced and awkward. Nothing you do will feel right.
For now, you got to get back to even. For now, you have to learn to be a man.
For now…I guess I’ll have to do.