One day I repented my resentment because I realised I’d forgotten
to repeat it. For a while—no, for a long while—it was like a prayer,
rising to the skies, morning after morning, like a siren that wouldn’t quiet.
And then I remembered other things: the way I walk lighter these days;
the way you never knew my story of divorce; the way I am tired of being
forced among the new; and the way I miss having someone to speak to about
things I don’t need to explain; the way we shared a name.
So I decided.
I took a flight and hung around the areas where we used to meet.
I loitered with intent. I was hungry with hope but couldn’t eat alone.
I missed the home your body was, even though we’re grown now,
I missed your smell, your wrestle, your snoring breath.
And when I saw you, I saw you’d changed too.
So much behind us we didn’t need to name.
“Jacob and Esau” Originally published in Seminary Ridge Review. Copyright © 2017 by Pádraig Ó Tuama. Reprinted with the permission of the poet.