2cBy Tommy Airey

on the edge of reservation
genocide, son of an old working,
smoking, drinking, distancing
immigrant. You were robbed of
intimacy, emotion, left with
nothing but the counterfeit world of
patriarchy–hiding, achieving,
planning, controlling. You were trained to
not take up too much space, to
stay out of conflict, to
play your role, dad hiding,
mom never confiding, neither
ever fighting.

was lonely, unsure, not convinced
anyone even noticed when you pole vaulted to
Oregon, south to California, suburban
dreams awaiting. You spoke in formula,
routine, trivia and statistic, an equation
easily solved, uncomplicated, on
the surface. Your brain’s left
side loomed large—logic and reason
your tools for every season.

played it safe, stayed out of
the fray, on the outside—with family,
on politics, in conversation. Too much
lonely to risk losing anyone else. My
curious questions were met with
short shrugged answers. Your
neat schedule and nervous chuckle hid
the pain. Work, church and sports became
salvific, Trinitarian of sorts.

you were wrapped in kindness, service,
meek and mild. Your pastor called
you an amazing, unassuming man. Your
companions were the newspaper,
the novel, the net, the grocery, the gym,
Bible study, Book TV. Your heart’s left side
occluded. You were alone, quiet and
shivering. Like a child, you slipped out,
unknown, on your way home from
a Revelation around the throne,
holy, holy, holy.

carry the torch, burning
in my bosom:
gutting the guilt,
decolonizing duty,
naming the pain,
refusing to blame
the victim.

One thought on “Alone

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