A poem for my inner child

You Ask

Remember when you
were a child, what person
made you feel safe?

I cannot name a one.

There was no appearance of danger.
Dreams
of fierce foxes approaching
but no knives pointed at me.
Nights
when things happened
not to be spoken at all.
Things
not named but known.
So I could not speak
could not be safe.
My small soul wandered
alone in the gray fog

So I grew up successfully, but without my soul—
without my soul to rejoice with,
without my soul to cry,
without my soul to dance on the sand,
without my soul to reach for another’s hand,
without my soul to sit inside me and be glad.

It’s a long return to find
the soul that went away.
A long return
to speak her back
call her back
earn her trust
hold her lightly
caress her hair
feel her trembling now
as she speaks.


-- for all the little ones