he calls me on the phone, says he's leaving in a few days.
the tears that threaten to escape me aren't new, my clenched fist isn't new, my picked, bleeding lower lip isn't new.
you've always left me, dad. even when you said you were coming back, even when you said it wouldn't be for too long, even when you said you loved me more than anything.
your actions betray your words - the silver shavings in your hair betray the test of time - the wrinkles around your eyes betray the man i used to take you for.
i hate this time of year - because all i want to do is hold your face in my hands - and feel the skin that belongs to me - and look into the brown eyes that belong to you - and i want to tell you - how much, how much, how much i love you.
how much i love you - despite the hurt - despite your absence - despite you being a man that doesn't know he has a child that loves him so much.
i still love you, dad. i'll be waiting for you to come home.