It Hurts

It hurts.
I watch him prepare his bag, fill it with clothes and special mementos.
I watch him write a list of all he is to bring.
I watch him without him knowing.
I watch him, and it hurts.

Do you have everything? I ask
A mama and her son.
Yes, I wrote it all down, he says
And I check his list.
You need your coat I say
And I run out to the laundry line and tear it off
I smell his coat, but his scent is gone, clean with soap and sun and air

He pulls his backpack on his back.
He puts his coat on as I hand it to him
And his hand fleetingly touches mine
A mama and her son.

His touch makes me ache, it hurts
A stabbing pain in my heart
As he reaches towards me for a kiss
A kiss, something you do when you say goodbye
For me, a promise of my love
Tender lips touching
A mama and her son.

It's Saturday night, time to go
The sky just beginning to turn dark
As is my spirit as I hug him to me
His coat and his backpack covering
His body I long to feel in my arms.

It hurts, and tears fill my eyes
But will not fall, cannot fall
I must be brave, have courage and faith
This is best, this is what he needs
Goodbye my son, I love you.

And the door closes as he glances back towards me
Seeing the tears threatening to fall
And I smile, have fun this week, kiddo, I say
And as the latch closes tight, I hurt.

And one tear falls as I turn towards the kitchen
To where there is light
And I make a cup of coffee as I tell myself over and over again:
This is best, he needs this, he wants this
He loves this.

But I need you, I want you, I love you, my boy.
And it hurts.

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