I Don’t Have The Words

TV on, son in lap

We stumble on the news.
Baghdad, Beirut, Paris
He asks me “What’s the truth?”

I look at him and blink.
How naïve and wise the child
Born free and chained;
Leashed out to the wild

He’s too small for my cynic’s shirt
But he’s a growing lad.
Taking on the bull and bluster;
All the faults I had.

And in that cozy moment
Shielded from the worst
My mind is racing, mouth dry,
What should I say first?

I don’t have the words.

I look deep into his eyes.
Bloodied birth, screaming days,
Aeroplane smiles, bear-cub hugs,
Summer yellows, sleepless greys…

I don’t have the words.

His eyes probe further,
Bright brown beams of innocence
Rabbit-freeze me in full glare
Piercing every defence.


I want to tell him the world is a safe and loving place
That it’ll all be okay.
That people are mostly good
It doesn’t have to be this way.

But I don’t have the words
I don’t have the right.


Here is an amazing video, where the father had the perfect words. This brings a lump to my throat every time.

Find more from Al the Author here.