Unspoken Words

His face is the last thing I see at night before I go to sleep.


Some nights, when I reach up to touch his face, it is smooth and soft.

Other nights, it is stubbly and rough, like sandpaper;

I like the roughness because it soothes my itchy wrists and hands.


Some nights, when I look into his eyes, they look so tired;

his eyelids droop and flutter.

Other nights, his eyes are clear;

when he smiles, I can see the smile in his eyes, and I smile back.


I can see the smile in his eyes, and I smile back. @aknott21 Click To Tweet


Some nights, he seems distracted.

While I drink, he looks away or reaches for his phone,

but I never stop watching him.

I sense that his mind is racing, so I am quiet;

all I want is to feel the ropy strength of his arm under my head,

and the thump of his heart in my ear.


Some nights, as I watch him, a tear rolls down his cheek and hangs on his chin;

those nights, the very unusual ones, I want to hold him like he holds me.

I want to make him feel safe and warm;

let him know that everything is going to be OK.


Every night, all I want to do is stay awake;

I don’t want to drift off because I’m afraid,

afraid I’ll lose him and won’t be able to find him again.

So I put every ounce of energy I have into fighting sleep:

I scratch and I claw, I struggle and I cry, but I always lose.

Eventually, my eyelids get too heavy;

I can’t keep them open even a second longer.


His face is the last thing I see.


Most nights, I wake up and it is completely black and I am scared;

I miss him, so I call out, and he always comes to get me.

Everything is dark and quiet and everything is still, I let sleep come quickly;


I am completely content because I am in his arms again as we rock,

back and forth in the chair that creaks under our weight.


Every morning, just as the room begins to lighten from black to pale gray, I toss and turn;

until that first thought pushes its way into my mind: Where is he?

I can’t wait to see him again;

I stand up, I rub my eyes, I call out, and I wait.

When he comes, it is the happiest moment of my day,

I smile and I laugh.


I smile and I laugh. - Unspoken Words @aknott21 Click To Tweet


Every day, he tells me how much he loves me,

and all I want to do, more than anything, is tell him that I love him too,

but, I’ve yet to find the words.


Andrew is a writer from Orlando, Florida. His writing has appeared in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Cafe.com, Robot Butt, RAZED, The Funny Times, Mock Mom, Queen Mob’s Teahouse, Defenestration Magazine, Scary Mommy, Parent.co, The Higgs Weldon, Flash Fiction Magazine, and Paste Magazine. He also writes on his website, www.explorationsofambiguity.com and you can follow him on Twitter (www.twitter.com/aknott21) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/explorationsofambiguity). His first book, Fatherhood: Dispatches From the Early Years, is available now on Amazon {affiliate}.

Other post by Andrew Knott

There are 14 comments

  1. Well that made me cry! I love it. The bond between a child and a parent should always be like this. It breaks my heart when it is not. I’m grateful my children have two parents that adore them.


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