Abba

To my Grandfather,
speechless.

ABBA
by Manuel Buen-Abad (2015)

It was dark,
like every other day
and every night;
like every instant of my
existence.

It was dark, and I was sleeping.

It was quiet and empty;
every moment
in this slumber of mine
a terrible silence
that weighed upon my soul
with the weight of a coffin.

It was dark, and I was dead.

I had almost forgotten
what it was like to breathe,
what it was like to wish, to see,
to feel, to live.

But in the dark I was forgotten.

There was no pain,
no horrors nor endless fire;
but there was no Love either;
no light, no music.
There was Nothing.

It was dark, and I was Nothing.

Sometimes –though time had no meaning
I could remember what it was like Before:
the warmth of the sun, the gaiety of dance,
the blisters in my hands,
the fresh fragrance of Her skin.

I yearned then, for Something.
For Someone.

But it was dark, and I was No One.

Before this I had been Just,
a True and Honest Man;
Before I had loved
— a Woman, a Son, a God;
but now all had been taken from me,
now there was my soul
and Nothing more.

It was dark, and Nothing more.

But then one Night
was like no other night;
one Night the darkness
was almost kind,
like the darkness before peace,
like expecting a new day.

It was dark, but not for long.

Because thunder came
and lightning broke in
and a terrible roar
cracked open my tomb.

And He was there,
mighty, crushing;
His presence cutting the Void

like an ax an oak;
piercing Silence
like the Sun at Dawn.

I could see then,
and feel and breathe
and live;
and I could remember.

And I knelt then,
on the void,
on the blackness of my tomb
and bowing down
I murmured
“My Lord”.

But He put one hand upon my shoulder
and with the other lifted my head and met my eyes;
I could see His gaze burning
with tears of fire.

He spoke then, a single Word
and His voice resounded
through a darkness that was no more
— ah, how I had loved that voice!
the one Word I had missed
from the World of the Living,
a Word that made me shiver
with the joyful memories of days long gone;
a Word that lifted my soul
to Heaven above.

A single Word He spoke,
and my World was then
a World of Joy.

I will remember it forever,
until the end of Time:

“Dad”.

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