To Justin, On Your Graduation (A Poem)

Debating with myself for years

Undecided until the final moment

That you would graduate from 12th grade.

Another huge milestone in a year when you

made several: Halifax, New York, your 18th birthday.

How can I tell you, dear son, how proud I am of you

Of your accomplishments, your skills, your talents

Your intelligence, your character.

I wanted to share this moment with you

As much as a million other moments that I missed

But wanting you to be comfortable, relaxed

at such a grand day was more important to me

Than my desire to be with you

I stayed away.

As I have stayed away

If only to let you find yourself

Learn for yourself, decide for yourself

Some truths about life

I only hope that you have found

The right mentors, the right models

To guide you when I could not

To listen when I was unable

To cheer you on

Encourage you

Remind you of the lessons I taught you

As you were growing up and very young

Before you were taken away from me

Body, mind, spirit

Heart of my heart,

blood of my blood

body of my body

My wound opens anew

each time I think of you

No less painful than the day I lost you

and my blood pours out in tears

and in silence

I congratulate you.


© Cindy Lapeña, 2014



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