Graduation day

bike2

I knew this day was coming. When
I built your trike, I felt today
approaching like a brewing storm
beyond where I could see. And when
I ran beside your bike, one hand
ahold the seat to steady you,
I knew. Each happy birthday cake
was bitter, too, because it marked
the coming day when you would leave.
The hours with you, I’d hoped, would bind
us ever more. The poems at night,
the books we read, the fish we caught,
the games we played, the times we talked
about “what if,” the tears, and mirth
created father-son as blood
could not. But still, I knew — and feared —
the day would come when you would go.
The son is grown, that time has come,
and off to forge a life you go.
(You’re still my son, I whisper in my heart,
whether we’re together or apart.)

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