Child, Roland

O you,
     most fearful,
child of my house.

O you,
     in whom I have aged
nine years in nine months.

A burden,
     and not a burden,
But a blessing unknown.

     Child all of hopes,
          benedictions,
          dreams,
          blights.

In nightmares
     you've been lost to me
     l o s t    nightly
in tear-stained sleeplessness.

I am one of fearful mettle,
     trembling
     I hold, what I hold tightest.

     Many faults are held deeper,
          beating within my chest
               a chest of false fire,
                    and a torch yet unlit.

As with all your others,
     I cast you off,
          a small stone
               sunk into the raging tide,
          a crimson arrow
               hurled into the dark of night,
flung wildly
     like a hope and a prayer.

My graying mane and weary eyes grow old,
     seeing last new son of my household born.
Emerging in haste, a secret now told.
     poems of His promise, my lineage adorned.
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