In the Annals of Time

Marking His Place in the Annals of Time
In a shelter deep in the city,
I met a man who requested anonymity,
For he had words of wisdom to say,
About his very own progeny,
He had nothing to gain by telling lies,
So his truth was plain and not disguised,
He began with words soft and slow,
And gradually let his feelings show.

How can those who have given you so much pleasure,
Also give you the most pain,
How can those who are part of you,
Become so proud and vain,
How can they tear out your heart,
Piece by piece, bit by bit,
Oblivious to what they are doing,
Though sharp of mind and wit,
I held each of them in these gnarled hands,
Kept them from sickness and death,
Hovered over them as they grew,
Played with them daily in health,
They outgrew parts of their lives,
They outgrew me,
Leaving me to suffer alone,
Alone with my self pity,
I waited on the sidelines,
A self-proclaimed indulgent dad,
Quietly bursting at the seams,
Whether they were good or bad,
Watching them carve out places in the world,
Feeling the distances between us grow,
Watching them play the game of life,
Letting their wild oats sow,
Knowing they would be bruised,
And knocked to the ground,
Yet seeing them rise victorious,
Never quitting, but upward bound,
It is a heavy burden to love and let go,
To watch as they grow,
To wax as I wane, to burn as I fade,
But it always has been so,
They are thriving in a world I could not master,
A world that kept me closed in,
And I am a failure in my own eyes,
Except for my children,
They are there to live up to promises,
I made rashly in my prime,
And they are all I have to mark my place,
In the annals of time.

The old man sadly turned and walked away,
He had nothing to show for the day,
Except for the tale he shared with me,
And that is the way it will always be,
A story, a tale, a memory.

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