My son is ten, we are in my car,
On the way visit his uncle, my brother up in DC.
It’s autumn, and my son’s on his last fall break,
For next year, he starts a normal school schedule.
We’ve been listening to
Half-Blood Prince for miles,
Jim Dale’s many voices accompanying us,
The hills are burning in gold all around,
A forest unlike any he had ever seen.
Like an author, the future creates irony in the past,
Things we didn’t notice the first time through:
How different I would have been as a father
If I’d known what my son’s future held for him.
Never out of the woods, really,
In the original sense of meaning, “lost”;
And all the beauty the world has to show,
And the glories of family, and storytelling,
And last chances
To someone who
Is surround by ghosts