I Will Stay

Photo by Sanyamshri | CC BY-SA 3.0
Photo by Sanyamshri | CC BY-SA 3.0

A poem about heroes, most often found in ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

He stood upon the front porch
Watching his daddy walk away
His mama stood beside the boy
His mama, she would stay

The boy, he heard her swallow hard
Watched one tear slide down her face
The boy took her by the hand
And said, “Mama, I’ll stay”

She stood upon the front porch
Watching the boy smile and wave
In the dust from the tires of the yellow bus
His mama, she would stay

He watched, as his mama grew smaller
He watched, as she faded away
As the bus jostled onward beyond
Where his heart would always stay

He stood on the edge of the driveway
Resting his hand on an old Chevrolet
Smiling at her on the front porch
“Come on, Ma. You can’t possibly stay!”

They laughed as they drove down back roads
He wondered when her hair had turned grey
Watching her face in the wind and sun
He feared nothing gold could stay

She stood on the edge of the platform
As he smiled to her from the train
Wearing his Army greens
Her boy, he couldn’t stay

His mama waved a white kerchief
As the train chugged out of sight
Then dried her tears as she walked
Home, where she would stay

He stood at the end of the driveway
Leaning heavily on a cane
Gazing up at the front porch, he cried
“Hey Mama, I’m home to stay!”

Slowly she opened the screen door
Brought a trembling hand to her face
And wondered at the man limping toward her
Did he say he was home to stay?

They sat on the porch until sunset
Watching the tall grass sway
He held her hand, they talked and they laughed
Willing the gold light to stay

He paused for a moment at dinner
Finding the right words to say
The boy had fallen in a love with a girl
Overseas; she had asked him to stay

She stood at the edge of the driveway
Watching that old Chevrolet
Drive off with her boy and his bride
His mama, she would stay

He returned a few weeks later
From their honeymoon far away
Her boy and his bride, they asked smiling
“Mama, will you let us stay?”

He waited all day by her bedside
Singing Yours and Amazing Grace
His mama, she heard him whisper
“Oh God, please let her stay”

She stood on the edge of forever
Eternity just steps away
She opened her eyes for the last time
“My boy, I’m so sorry…I can’t stay”

She told him his pain wouldn’t last
As a tear slid down his face
She told him to hope and to live and to dream
“And, dear boy, in your heart I will stay”

He stood upon the front porch
Watching the last light fade
His wife, she stood beside him
His wife, she would stay

In his arms, he held his baby girl
In a blanket his mama crocheted
He took her little hand in his
And whispered “I will stay”

© Nichole Liza Q.

Written for Writing 201 Poetry, Hero(ine), Ballad, Anaphora/Epistrophe 

10 thoughts on “I Will Stay

Add yours

    1. well, not that I want to make people cry but it is good to know people feel something when they read it! Thank you for reading and for responding. I appreciate the feedback.

  1. This is a haunting poem about life moving ever forwards. I think it is perfect as it is It closes on a posiyive note, allowing us to forget that eventually the same thing happens to each generation. It’s lovely.
    And I think it’s fine to leave people crying. Crying is healthy.
    Thanks for sharing.

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