“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,

however small.

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.








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