“Go gather the kindling”
I stomp off into the brush,
knobby knees knocking me off kilter,
greasy hair matted to my neck.
This place has been scoured and smells
of sour milk and burnt plastic,
but I like that I can race my thoughts
around the pavement on training wheels
(I’m too old, but who has time
to teach a little one balance and courage
when you yourself are struggling to find it?)
You don’t speak except to remark every so often
on the splendor of the stars,
or that skunk that nearly
marooned our hard-fought fire.
What I wish I could tell you
is that I see the years to come.
I know we still won’t speak,
but we will always have these river grounds
in the recesses of our hearts
That quiet place where we COULD be quiet
Where screaming didn’t permeate
our every cell and kill the calm.
I always thought of you as a snared rabbit
and I was some patch of parsnip
waiting for you to notice me
so I could be your sustenance,
Daughter in the details.
It’s not so much that I was overlooked
so much as you were trapped.
We all were.
Someday you will find me
You will say I have grown
And I will say you are free.