Keeping me from sentimental verse
About your birth and growth and milestones.
Love like this is best left mute, though I curse
Each impulse to crush clichés like bones
Broken in a vise. Can’t say what’s worse:
Diving in headfirst or standing shin-deep
On a shoal. Never been much of a swimmer.
Vigils, my son, I’ve held, to see you sleep
In dusk-dim light and I’ve felt the dimmer
Numbness in me melt. I’ve tried to keep
Watch from a safe ascetic distance,
Emotion held in check—a trick that’s killed
Love in the past. The slant consonance
Linking us will stall me, until I’ve fulfilled,
Stubbornly, the demands of these constraints.