by Joani Reese

Like sinews stretched until they snap, I finally reach that no return

banish man-child from my home, and toss his troubles to the curb 

as rage cements his fisted heart that once fluttered beneath my own. 

A hardened man, he won't admit rash choices formed his bitter life, 

and if he ever loved someone, his mirrored body sat that throne. 

I finally extract my life, aware he'll never own his fate; he'll stumble 

forward, fall alone, his troubles blamed on everyone. How strange to thinkinnocent, young, he was my laughing, blue-eyed son. 

Each angry man leaps from a boy tempered by existential harm. 

Embracing hate, his ire thrums, this one who never caught the ring, nor sang a song, nor loved someone. 

A frightened boy dwells in this man who claims he can control the storm; he'll realize, but far too late, he's just another wind-tossed pawn. 

Drug ravaged, drunken, stumbling on, a sunken wraith, an eidolon, his threnody's a sorrow song, a dirge lamenting damage done. 

All kindness gone, he's flown apart, a puzzle piece lost in the dark. I stand detached and mustn't grieve his leaving or lie to the truth. 

I have no time for a fresh start, prepare for years missing that heart that once beat softly, safe beneath my own.