Poetry & Prose

a father leaves his son

a father leaves his son
with the words
‘i’ll be right back’
as his frame turns into
that empty out of the
front door.
he chooses
‘i’ll be right back,’
‘there is a war outside
that has turned children to ashes
and dotted the streets with crimson
and I have to go fight
in this war,
this pointless war
for more red’

is far too much
for a four-year-old
to understand.
a four-year-old who
yearns for his dad
when he goes to the supermarket
for too long.
a four-year-old who
would cry if he knew
‘i’ll be right back’
was an audacious hope,
a sacred prayer,
not a promise.
so a father leaves his son
with ‘i’ll be right back,’
for some words
are easier to say
than goodbye.