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My Son, Bob

          Military men had come,

with news no parent expects to hear,

“Ma’am, yesterday in Sasebo, Japan, Navy officers

found your son in his apartment…

 dead.

 

“He didn’t show up to the ship.

They went to his apartment.

They found him…

dead.”

 

“My son is dead?

He’s never coming home!”

 

My son , Bob, is dead!

In the twilight, I reel in limbo

In that haunting ground

Between dread of awake and terror of nightmare.

 

Tension tightens my neck

Flows down my back

Becoming a fiery fist

at the base of my spine.

 

   That night…I lay in bed praying to process the news.

         Fingers clutch the fragrant bed sheet;

         Thighs stiffen into planks

         And toes tingle like ice cubes.

 

      (An image appears…)

 

       A doorway opens…

       I recognize the place.

       Bright light streams around two figures.

     I recognize the people.

 

     Standing there is Grampoppa,

     Haloed by light

     Light streaming all around

                                              Extending his hand in welcome.
                                              “Come on in, son!” he says.

 

                Behind him, is Grammamma,

                Peaking over his shoulder.

                Light streaming all around

                               Her welcome smiles from her eyes.

 

                “Come on in, son!” he beckons.

 

                The voice is familiar.  I’d heard it over the years.

                Grampoppa said that when the uncles were home for Mother’s Day Dinner.

               “Come on in, son!”

                He said it at Father’s Day and birthday gatherings.

               “Come on in, son!”

 

Grampoppa and Grammama are there to greet my son!

                 To welcome him home with them

                 In heaven.

                 I believe it.  

 

Heaven is home.

So, I’m content.

 

                 I sigh and breathe.

                 I believe it.

                All is well.  

 

Bob is with Grampoppa

Bob is with Grammama,

All is well.  

 

               I sense another voice,

               “Anna, my child. Your son, Bob, is home.

               All is well.

               See, he’s with family.”

 

At peace,

I drift into healing, comforting sleep.

 

 

Anna J. Small Roseboro, a National Board Certified Teacher, wife of fifty-two years, mother of three, is a published poet and author of fiction, and non-fiction texts, but is primarily an educator. She has over forty years experience in five states teaching English, and Speech to students in middle school, high school Education Theory, Curriculum Design, and Oral Rhetoric to those in college.  Now retired, she coaches new writers and early career educators across the nation, and emerging leaders at her home church, New Community Church of God in Kentwood, Michigan. Her website is http://teachingenglishlanguagearts.com/

4 thoughts on “My Son, Bob

  1. “Between dread of awake and terror of nightmare” – a poignant scene. Anna, I love your writing. I felt every piece of the emotion you described and it felt like I was the one reliving it. Thank you for sharing from your heart.

  2. Thank you, Shauna, for taking the time to post. Knowing one’s writing touches the heart of a reader is gratifying. I think you’ll enjoy reading my novel ON ZION’S HILL.
    Wishing you well with your writing, too.
    Anna

  3. Oh, Anna, this is poignant. Eternally grateful for the peace you found and can revisit again and again. Have mercy on us, Lord.

    1. Thanks, Carol,
      His Grace and Mercy brought me through. Do you know the song? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mxz-c8MLAoU

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