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Poetry: Heartbreak & Healing
The Long Gone Son
by Dallas Nyberg

The dad shook the hand of his only son,
as they waited by the road for the bus to come.
He was leaving home for better life,
and maybe settle down and find a wife.

"Thereís nothing left here" the old man said
as he looked around and shook his grey head.
"This droughts got us beat and thatís a fact
and I gotta feeling son you wonít be back."

The son gave his dad a friendly slap
"Come on dad you know Iíll be back
Iíll make some money to help us out
the rain will come and end this drought."

The bus disappeared in a cloud of dust,
The man held back tears Ďcause he knows he must.
No signs of weakness to let him down
Just a lonely old man in a field so brown.

Now he stands out there on that sun cracked ground
and with pain in his heart he looks around.
He pleads with the sky but the rains donít come
and he scans the road for his long gone son.

Well itís been two years since his son left home
And there on the verandah all alone
Sits an old man with gun in his hand
A beaten man in a broken land.

The last of the sheep are long since dead
Caught in what was left of the old creek bed
The trees stand gaunt like ghosts on the plain
Eight long years and still no rain

He lifts his eyes to the trees on the rise
to a lonely white cross where his dear wife lies
Two months ago she left his side
And every day since the old mans cried.

Now he stands out there on that sun cracked ground
and with pain in his heart he looks around.
He scans the road for his long gone son
and he slowly turns the barrel of the loaded gun

A bus pulls in at the boundary gate
the son is home, just a little too late.
and there Ďneath the trees that stand on the rise
two white crosses point to the sky

A heart broken son with tears in his eyes
talks to crosses up there on the rise.
He pleads for forgiveness of this long gone son
and feels the remorse of the wayward one.

In the sky overhead, storm clouds boil
that will bring relief to the sun parched soil
and life will return to this old manís land
green and lush, the vision grand

But the old manís spirit is here in the ground
you can hear him on the wind and in the night birdís sound
his heart is soil thatís turned by the plough
and his tears are the rain thatís falling now.

Now the son looks out on the scene serene,
The crops are high, the trees are green.
Though deep in his heart he feels so sad,
as he scans the land for his long gone Dad

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