You stood by his bedside
the day you left, offering
blessings for the life
he would live without you.
He lay there and sobbed
and reached out for you to
stay and talk and stay and love
and stay, just stay.
You walked off in a cloud
of blessings as if you’d sprayed
the room for bugs or to leave
some floral camouflage.
Understand that your blessings
by themselves healed nothing of wounds
the boy did not even see
until he became an old man
and lay back in a different bed
understanding at last how the damage
inflicted back then was neither your fault
nor his own, but that regardless
the scent of it lingered
in every bedroom he’d been in since.
The stinging in his scars
was the burned-in message
that everyone leaves, eventually;
it might as well be him leaving, even
if it’s not today, even if he is alone
at the time, even if the room
is stifling with blessings
and protection and love.
Nothing is forever,
his wounds have said at every dawn
since you walked away, applying
a serum as protective
as any blessed potion,
if not as sweet.