A father sledgehammers his son
with the “big boys don’t cry” lie.
The son learns to cry
in his own time, his own space.
There is a large rock upon the mountain
that collects his tears in a granite bowl.
The steel of the son’s spirit
strikes sparks upon the rock with each drop.
The son realizes the polished steel
is a looking glass and a weapon.
He chooses to use that steel
to prop his eyes open to the light.
In that light, he discerns the generational pain
lashed to his father’s hard words.
The son searches family photo albums
to learn what is long gone and sharply missed.
The photos devolve from color,
to black and white, to a stiff sepia.
copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney