Where I Cannot Go

Leslie Kay Lanham 1960 (West Virginia)

Today my son leaves for a place,
somewhere I cannot go.
A war torn land, far overseas,
for how long, I don’t know.
And though I’ve been his biggest fan,
throughout his life, it’s true -
I now must step aside, to let him
do what he must do.
His life has been a journey,
that has led him to this day.
I never will forget the moment,
when I heard him say,
“Mom, I want to be a Marine!”
his words etched in my mind.
I felt my heart go to my throat,
my voice I could not find.
He’s still so young, at twenty-one,
it’s hard to watch him leave.
What’s waiting for him up ahead,
my mind cannot conceive.
So as I see him off at last,
the few, the proud,  please know -
That my heart goes with him,
Into this place I cannot go.
Lord, I pray, please keep him safe,
where evil does convene.
For your eye is on the sparrow,
And on my U.S. Marine…

About this poem

I wrote this when my son left for Afghanistan in 2009.

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Written on September 15, 2009

Submitted by lanhamleslie on September 13, 2022

Modified by lanhamleslie on October 09, 2022

59 sec read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 851
Words 197
Stanzas 1
Stanza Lengths 28

Leslie Kay Lanham

Mother, Grandmother, and happily retired. Part time poet and lyricist. Studied at Troy University. Currently resides in Pensacola, Florida. more…

All Leslie Kay Lanham poems | Leslie Kay Lanham Books

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Discuss the poem "Where I Cannot Go" with the community...

  • Symmetry58
    This made me cry, Leslie. When I think about the tightest bond known to man, it really is humbling. Nothing in this world is stronger than a mother's love of her children. My mother, God rest her soul, would not only have killed for her kids, but would have readily given her own life for ours had the opportunity ever arisen. You're an amazing mom and equal to the task as a poet. Thank you for sharing and thank your son for serving. 
    LikeReply 111 months ago
    • lanhamleslie
      Your comment brought tears to my eyes. So very kind…. thank you.
      LikeReply 111 months ago
  • Mysteryfaithandlove
    So very touching
    LikeReply 111 months ago
  • tanyas.74554
    Amazing :) I also said a prayer for him.
    LikeReply11 months ago
    • lanhamleslie
      Thank you so much. I wrote this back in 2009. He did come home safe - so I was one of the lucky Moms…
      LikeReply11 months ago


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"Where I Cannot Go" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 23 Sep. 2023. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/137615/where-i-cannot-go>.

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