He pondered that word, father,
while he watched the small life in his wife’s arms
so new to the world,
who looked so much like him,
nursing, content, at his mother’s breast.
He rested one hand gently on her shoulder,
wishing to circle them both
with whatever he could give,
moved deeply to keep all the dark things away,
surprised by how strongly it hit him,
amazed, really –
he had never really expected
the role now thrust upon him,
lover, husband, father,
but fate sometimes takes unexpected roads.
the one gap in his life,
never knowing who his really was,
or what it would have been like
to have stood at his side,
asked him questions,
felt his acceptance
or even his disapproval,
a hole that echoed emptily
never quite filled,
the home of a ghost.
How could he know
what to do with this small life,
this tiny form that was his son,
how to teach him,
care for him,
help him to grow,
when he had never known what it was like?
His wife, her blue gray eyes piercing his soul,
looked up at him,
touched his cheek and smiled.
‘You’ll do just fine, daddy.” she said,
and moved by her trust,
and tied by her love,
he knew that no matter how afraid he was,
he vowed not to repeat his father’s mistake
and pass that hole in his soul on
to this child who had captured his heart.