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Sitting at our distanced picnic,
a moveable feast in which the scotch eggs
probably have deep significance, I said to you
“We’re only ever inches from the cliff.
If left alone we tread steadily. It’s those
other buggers you have to watch out for.”
and the mist on the windows
stopped us seeing more.
Sanctuary at Dawn
by Michael R. Burch

I have walked these thirteen miles
just to stand outside your door.
The rain has dogged my footsteps
for thirteen miles, for thirty years,
through the monsoon seasons ...
and now my tears
have all been washed away.

Through thirteen miles of rain I slogged,
I stumbled and I climbed
rainslickened slopes
that led me home
to the hope that I might find
a life I lived before.

The door is wet; my cheeks are wet,
but not with rain or tears ...
as I knock I sweat
and the raining seems
the rhythm of the years.

Now you stand outlined in the doorway
—a man as large as I left—
and with bated breath
I take a step
into the accusing light.

Your eyes are grayer
than I remembered;
your hair is grayer, too.
As the red rust runs
down the dripping drains,
our voices exclaim—

"My father!"
"My son!"

NOTE: “Sanctuary at Dawn” was written either in high school or during my first two years of college. Keywords/Tags: father, son, conflict, reconciliation, storm, rain, tears, sweat, mud, slog, downpour, flood

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