Letting Go

His father only
Angriness and rage –
His mother always
Haunted and excusing

He grew to be
The silent brooding sort –
Who thought all life a con
And winning, losing

He left home at sixteen
Few clothes, no money –
His friends, his family now –
A couch, his home

A blanket for a
Pillow and a blanket –
A toothbrush, wallet,
Condom and a comb

For somehow, all this anger
Marked him special
To girls wherever
He might hap to go

And beds and more
Were opened to him, often –
The skills he picked up
Long and strong and slow

But that meant little to him
Really, nothing –
For there were none
He trusted in the end

And lovers were just
Minutes out of boredom –
Each game to play
A contest, not a friend

He worked in Colorado
Loading timber
And drank his nights away
Though underage

But everywhere he went
His father followed –
A secret well of lovelessness
And rage

One night this spilled
Into a drunken battle
With some man in a bar
Next to a rail

A battle short, but not
Without its memories –
And he woke up the next day
Cold in jail

Not quite eighteen
A full man in appearance –
Few friends to call
No family to post bond

An agg assault charge
That he pled no contest
The natural growth
Of rage that had been spawned

The boy he was, long lost
When he left prison –
He found another job
A timber mill

He’d left off drinking –
Really couldn’t say why –
Except perhaps
That he had drunk his fill

A handsome man, but silent
In his twenties –
Who left off nightlife
Bought himself a cat

And hiked up in the mountains
On the weekends
And by the rapid river
Often sat

The covered bridge
It sat above that river –
The turmoil below
Not keeping it

From shielding any
Travelers who wandered
Into its shaded walls
For just a bit

For life no longer seemed
A fake thing to him –
For prison – that was
Very, very real

His father’s hate and
Mother’s weak acceptance –
He had to let those go
So he could heal

And now, there was a girl
From social service –
He met her at the pet store
Buying food

She was a year ahead of him
In healing –
But demons still, at night
Her dreams pursued

And dimly, like a dawn
Amidst a rainstorm
He felt the light of .. love?
Fall on his face

And wanted to enjoy her
And protect her
And share a constant
Mutual embrace

The covered bridge
He thought he was becoming
Was not without its moments
Of despair

His anger and her fear
Below each surface
Were dangers ever lurking
Always there

But who they are’s
Not what they were, oh, no —
You only embrace life
By letting

6 thoughts on “Letting Go

  1. I hesitate to say “I like it” — only because this may have been from your life, but I do like it!

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