“Boys without Fathers” by Susan Hayden

This has always been
a “Quest” story:
Adventures, magical rewards,
the tests

Running for my life
and from my life
since I had feet

Running to meet
Men
who were once
boys without fathers

Boys without Fathers

They learned their way
around things,
not by choice
They’ve given voice
and reason
to my tiny little leaps
toward the Unknown

and I was (and still am)
prone,
susceptible
to their lack of guidance–
that moral (or immoral) code
invented
by being let loose
to draw conclusions
of their Own

A Father will reveal
a river’s hidden moves;
the groove in the magic angle,
twenty degrees to skip a stone

not leave a Boy
to bond with the Alone
and grow up overnight
with no instructions

A Father will show
How to build a fire
Pitch a tent
Give directions
Embellish all reflections

Fight with snowballs,
Fish through ice
He’ll be the one that says,
“Roll the dice,
it’s your turn”

Your Turn

This has always been
a “Quest” story
with its circuitous route,
its point and its shoot;
its natural disasters

Still running to the men
Who were once
Boys without Fathers

To seek from within them
what’s unwritten:
the secret to dreaming
the unmarked trail
the backroad home
the way to make peace with the Alone

The adventures, the magical rewards,
the tests
and a plea in their honor,
a simple request:
Please teach me
How to grow my own Boy,
the One without a Father

Susan Hayden

© 2010