The man sits in the plastic chair, his son cradled on his lap.
The child opens his mouth, takes a bite of toast.
He chews, his jaws mechanical, his face expressionless
beyond the exhaustion in his eyes. His fingers grasp
the edge of the Formica table; he has learned to hold on.
The seats of cars and buses, a rocking boat, a diesel train,
once a stuffed toy now lost, always his father’s hand.
Only the last has been constant in a shifting landscape.
The man settles the child’s weight, supports his small body
as he drifts off to sleep. He plants a single kiss on his head.
He smiles. ‘My son is safe,’ he says. ‘My son is safe.’