Snow, a Son

Snow, a Son
Eric Myers
I lived my whole life
with the man in this picture,
but I’ve never seen him like this.
He-s wearing a jacket I’ve worn,
tan nylon turned out against the plowed
and flattened snow,
plaid cloth cradling him against the cold.
In this flash, he doesn’t know his son
will steal that jacket
from his closet. Or wonder
his father never grows his beard as long
as it is in this
brushing his collar bone.
Here he doesn’t know his son.
Or his wife.
Soon he will forget the snow for them.
Shave his beard to respectability,
and prop four walls up around
a boy who won’t return his calls
until he picks up an old album
and sees this picture
like a mirror.
The son will lose sleep, try to reconcile,
try to know his father like he was
in this hidden moment in the snow.
They will become strangers again.
Because the son can’t give back
what he’s stolen:
the redness of the man’s beard
or the peace in his posture.
They’re as gone as the jacket,
lost by the son, camping one summer,
with someone else’s family.

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