The Strength in Tears

I felt your hand in mine,
tugging, insisting
and then the whispering,
why is he crying?

I looked where you looked,
saw there another man
and another boy,
and I saw what it was to cry,
in a graveyard,
under chestnut trees
dressed in fire,

he came to bury
love and desire,
to place her in the earth
with no thought of rebirth.
I saw the stream of tears
and the strength of a man
surrendering all that he was
and all that he is
and giving to his son
the gift of his tears.

I knew then
that I had failed you,
I looked down
into ever dry eyes,
brown and solemn
and heard the question,
again, why is he crying.

I looked to that other boy,
trembling and brave,
standing by
his mothers open grave,
gripping his fathers hand tight
and try as I might
I could see no tear
in that childs eye.

And I knew then
that we had sold them a lie.
Two boys of similar age
and similar degree
both trapped
by the silly decree
that real men don’t cry.

We have told them
the same lie
for years on thieving years.
To hang their hearts
high on high
to live or die
year on year
and never know
the truth about
the strength in tears

But when I turned
to tell that other the truth,
I saw that it was you and I
Under a chestnut tree
burning bright
in glorious autumn flame
and on the pine and brass
I saw her name
You by me side, our boy,
unable still to cry,
and in the reflected
light of grief I promised her
that I would be no more the thief
but to let you learn
of loss and grief
down all our lonely years
and to teach you of
the strength in tears.

© Dave Kavanagh @ daithiocaomanaigh.com

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