To Austin

I watch your downy head grow still,

And know you are asleep.

You fight unconsciousness with zeal,

As slumber crawls and creeps.

Then finally your breathing comes

With softest snores to me.

I know then that my baby boy,

So deeply, sweetly sleeps.

Who watches you when I'm not there?

Who holds your tiny hand?

Does anybody listen then

Or try to understand?

You've grown so sage in two short years,

That often I'm amazed.

At all the wisdom I can see.

It's in your solemn gaze.

Too old, this baby grandson, mine,

Who's learned too much too soon.

You should be hearing nursery rhymes,

Of cats and cows and moons.

I hear uncertainty at best

When you call out to me.

"Don't leave me!" is your plaintive cry,

While love's your silent plea.

Who taught you such distrust and fear?

Who stole your babyhood?

Who took the years you should have known

The joy, and peace and good?

Oh, Austin, you don't trust a soul

To do the things they say.

I wonder who has let you down,

As for your life I pray.

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