Patience had never known hurt,
even when the other boys teased and sneered
and shoved him into the dirt of the playground-
he took their torture with the smile of a slave who tastes freedom.
One whole year since his mother had died and
not one tear did he shed. Not once did he cry
for the woman who gave him his flower of a name.
She was to blame for the lunches spent alone and
the bruises he took home, but still he loved her
too much to mourn an ending to her pain.
And then it was over. They came for him in the night
just like in his dreams. He kissed his father goodbye,
old man too covered in grief to feel the cold of another loss,
and turned out the light of a life that had always felt just a little bit off
before accepting the hand of A Stranger.
Up through his arm into every tissue and bone.
Like his mother’s laughter, alive and bright even through darkness.