A Note to My Sons

Tonight they're far into the country
of sleep. I read Du Fu's letter
to his son, Pony Boy—
tender confession of a father's pain.

Who knows what business may
suddenly call me away.
I'll be parted from them too,
someday, on a trip of my own,

down Rattlesnake Gorge,
across Goose Prairie by twilight,
where I'll enter, alone
and uncertain, Naches Pass.

So I'll say it now:
I miss you, Ned, Mr. Grey Eyes,
mimic and clown;
and Devin, experimenter, searcher,

you beat me at chess—unforgivable.
Though you're in the next room,
someday the distance between us
will be farther than stars.

Ed Harkness | Mudlark No. 13
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