I watch you wipe your hands, then your mouth.
You’re saving your voice: two and a half
Hour shows almost every night for 4 months are
Taking their toll.
Honey lemon tea
And something that looks like a CPAP machine
Keeps you going.
You’re reading Ginsberg again –
With copies of Seamus Heaney collections in your lap
Meant as gifts wherever the plane lands
Next. You were careful to send Guinness ahead of you.
I sit in the near silence (engines grunting under our feet)
Wishing you could see me here;
Knowing if you could you probably wouldn’t like me much.
But that is the way with parents and children.
(You don’t know you raised me, but you did.)
Children learn, but in the end, choose for themselves which
Aspects of the parent’s example to follow and which to disregard
Or even rebel against.
And the tension of so-much-alike breeds disappointment,
Dislike, disagreement, estrangement,
But how exactly does that awkwardness translate
When Da doesn’t know he is Da,
When the child is a perfect stranger –
Another face in the heaving sea of faces answering
Your cues for singalongs and lingering after the rest have
Departed and your crew is dismantling the stage?
When the relationship is necessarily
At this moment – in the in-between air of gig after gig –
You look wearier than any camera has ever seen you.
You are fingering the phone in your pocket,
Eager for touchdown, eager to call home.
Because you’ve finally made one for yourself.
But I’m still searching for mine.