Like That

The Narrows, Fran Angel's Landing, Zion National Park, Utah, United States of America
I saw you

l saw you like that
From time to time
Brow drawn down
Eyes narrow
Arms crossed tightly
A ward
A shield
A wall
A fortress

I knew you
And so I knew
The depths of my trouble
In the piercing intensity
Of your glare

I knew you like that
In the moment before
The fusillade of angry darts
Unleashed from shattered expectations

I feared you
The glare
The anger
The raging glower

I feared you like that
Not for the fusillade to come
But for the disappointment
l could already see
Deep below that furiously furrowed brow

I loved you
And the harshest penalty
I ever experienced
Was to know your disappointment

I loved you, even like that
In a way that might have surprised you
Because that disappointment
Even that righteous stance of reckoning
Told me how much I mattered
Told me how much you loved me

I miss you
And would love to have one more moment
Even like that
Even to feel your wrath
Even in the presence of
The fearsome, disappointed you

I miss you like mad
Because after, in the calm after
l would feel the soothing hand on my shoulder
And hear again the words
I love you, son
I wish I could say
Just one more time
I love you too, dad

Looking toward The Narrows
From Angel’s Landing
Zion National Park
Utah, United States of America

Taken during travels, 1996