Silent Son

You knew as soon as she told you
about the cramps,
the spotting,
the pain of brokenness
below her belly,
that something was wrong.

The two of you lay together
in the low light of dawn
sharing the heartache
in quiet voices,
until the three-year-old woke
and came to climb in between you.

She lay there with you,
squirming a bit from time to time
until her older brother woke up, too,
and joined you
and you wondered how to share the news.

Couldn’t just yet.

A little later,
you took him to school
while your wife—
assuring you that she would be okay—
went to the doctor alone
for the tests that would confirm
what you both already knew.

Back home,
you sat on the couch,
face in your hands while the little girl
watched cartoons.
Soon, though,
the secret seeped between your fingers
and she came to you,
“Papa crying?”
and pulled your hands
away from your face,
“Papa. Cry?”

She kissed your tears,
touched your face and your pain,
patted you on the shoulder,
and kissed you again,
“Papa, cry.”

As she turned back toward the TV,
you felt a sudden sense
of all that you have,
of all that you love,
of all that loves you
and knew:

There is no hand too small
to be the touch of God.

H. Arnett
12/11/12

About Doc Arnett

Native of southwestern Kentucky currently living in Ark City, Kansas, with my wife of twenty-nine years, Randa. We have, between us, eight children and twenty-eight grandkids. We enjoy singing, worship, remodeling and travel.
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