A Late Walk Home

By Daniel Rutberg, student, Hudson Valley Center – Hartsdale Unit

April 4, 2011

It is late as I walk home.
Well past the time
Most fathers tuck their sons in bed.

The moon is full, the night is crisp.
I see one light aglow through a window
As I make my way along the road.

The light burns on
In my son’s room.

I picture him:
Head bent, intent on studies,
His back slanted,
The broadside of a right triangle
With books piled high
On the large coffee table
He uses as a desk.

The light burns bright
Above his head,
His music plays softly
So as not to disturb
His mother and his brother
Who are fast asleep.

For a moment
An image like a film clip
From the summer Olympics
Flashes in my mind:
An athlete runs and leaps
And his legs are still pumping in mid-air
To increase the distance of the jump.

I wonder if this midnight oil
My son burns
Will, in time, have him safely home before the sun has set
To sit at dinner with his wife and my future grandchildren
Or will it ensure
That he too takes late night walks home
From a long work day that will start again,
It seems, just moments after his head will hit the pillow.

Dan Rutberg

Daniel Rutberg

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