Is there praise he might be sung
for the quiet hour he let anger pass
alone, unspeaking, for what he managed not
to break or curse, for the long walk north famous
each step, for what he carried into wilderness,
into cold distance, to the pale skied absence
he finally found in forgiveness’s stead?
Suppose one could share his story, and offer
telling detail, so free to imagine, of tall pine
each side of the old logging roads he travelled;
perhaps of places he stopped along the way,
creatures that watched him from the woods
knowing the long walk, narrow heaven above.
What he came upon at last was somewhere
his history was unknown and none could presume
to fill his silence with what they thought they knew
of his pain, a place where he would neither be reminded
nor asked to forget the sweet face that became his grief.
He might finally have disappeared there completely,
completely, when we gave his name to our son.