Poem: The One Who Stays

San Francisco at night, seen from Twin Peaks

The One Who Stays

I’ll take your hidden childhood
and the lines around your eyes
like little light rays
and I’ll be the one who stays.
I wonder what scares you more:
the man who keeps on loving
or the one who runs for the door?
I’m not here for a score, or a win.
I’ll take your temper
and your sculpted chin.
I’ll take your brash voice
that turns soft when you sing.
I’ll take your spicy cooking
and conspiracy theories.
I’ll take your crazy mother
who lives on oatmeal cakes and frozen food.
I’ll take your stylish scarves and cool shoes,
the way you bounce when you move,
your cursing at traffic
and your reservoir of faith.
All the things you do and say,
the woman you are today
and the one you’ll be in fifty years.
Your anger and your fear,
I can take it, and I won’t leave.
Nothing is made to last these days.
Everyone is cynical, everyone’s bereaved.
I don’t care. I believe, and I pray,
and I’ll be the one who stays.

* * *

Wael Abdelgawad
Fresno, California

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