Transitions

I

She cries with joy     and loneliness

and for the disappointment and guilt

he will feel when he learns

he missed the birth.

 

An emotional phone call over

a photo session ensures him an image

of her     their son     and the infant

he cannot hold

to keep him company

until the completion

of his sentence.

 

 

II

Unexplained cancellation

of promised day leave

anticipation     and anxiety

cause final days to drag.

 

 

III

Amid accolades and gifts

they greet each other

with awkward nervousness

when he enters their home

for the first time

and takes his daughter

in his arms:

belated bonding begins.

 

 c.  Kathryn Coughran

 

First published: 1994

In: Family Matters

(Kathryn Andersen)