A little boy has the chicken pox
his skin comes boiling
but its my heart
that talks…

He whines and twitches; it itches so bad,
and I look at his skin and I get mad.
Love and anger, compassion and strain,
I ache for his innocence, so small against pain

These moments are burnt of welling tears
hard passages through my mortal fears.
The love we feel, on this stage of death,
for long vanished children and we who’re left here.

All this was mine as I held his hand.
As his little courage
struggled so hard to stand.
All this was mine
…but, God, … I can’t understand.

5 may 85

— Copyright 1965-2008 by Dennis Gallagher —

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