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Bend in the Road
I had walked and talked with my friend, left them, and was nearing home. Only a gentle bend hid home from my view.
Then, on that stretch of road, by the bend of houses, I saw my son.
His freckle face with missing tooth looked from a roadside porch.
Seeing me he came, halted, went back and came again. A step nearer, a moments halt, a pace again, nearly a halt, now walking, becoming a run.
And I looked into that face wordlessly loving me.
And I too, losing all words, took him up into my arms.
Walking I tried to tell him, but the words were too big to come up out of my chest and through me.
But they came, haltingly, and I spoke them quietly lest they explode me there in the road, “Leon, I love you.”
We were home. It was a good place to be.
And my children, open, talking and secure in me.
Yes, I had helped to build this good place, this home.
And it was mealtime, and Leon was sitting on the floor with eyes darting to mine, face amove, showing and hiding that wonder that had led him to stand waiting an hour at a bend of houses for a man to walk that stretch of road.
He stood, and from some concealment took a tiny cake, part of a jam roll he had made, and gave it to me. “This is for you,” he said.
I took it and looked at his mouth, open with pleasure, and then his eyes -
A whole world of love — shy, trembling, wanton love.
And it tore me.
Copyright ©2001 Tony Crisp