“When you get the message, hang up the phone.” Alan Watts
This beautiful child with the big heart,
the songs escaping into the closed
air, is rocking herself while ghosts
cluster around her closet.
Menacing and something to fear,
because though no one else
can see them, still they tell ghost stories,
her only source of knowledge.
She is all alone, and even when she cries,
it appears that no one can hear her.
There are rough boys, jealous
of her tap dancing and ballet.
She bears the bruises of their fists,
their unkind shoving, and their cutting
words. She wants to be loved
and accepted, just to show herself
like a wildflower before the trampling
buffalo stampede, just one word
of praise before she’s lost in the dust.
Today I realized that I still carry her
and more, I can be that celebrating
mother who really sees her,
who can sit as she dances
to the tunes she composes.
She is so young, so frightened,
and big tears roll down my cheeks
as she finally emerges. There is nothing
to fix, nothing to heal, only this chance
to be present in this field
of true love. I let go of the guilt
for not hearing her earlier,
the assumption that she was frozen
in time, as she thaws in the fierce
heat of my receptive regard.