Ode to a child’s mind.

Are there butterflies inside your head?

If I put flowers in your hair, will they come fluttering out?

What colours are their wings?

I know! They’re blue. With orange spots.

They live inside your head. And mine.

They fly around and they make us laugh.

Then what makes us sad? What makes us angry?

Pause.

Here, take this flower. And this. And this one too.

Always put flowers in your hair, Mamma. And leave some outside.

Then, the butterflies will come. They’ll dance. And they’ll take your sad with them.

And you’ll laugh, Mamma. Yes. You’ll be happy and you will laugh. 

On this beating heart.

You are broken, dear heart.

And hurting.

Let me trace the edges jarred by years of betrayal. Let me bleed.

Let me touch the acid of rage inside of you. Let me burn. Let me suffer your pain.

Scream, dear heart.

Scream in anger and tell the whole world your story of havoc. The mocking, silencing, stifling.

Raise your voice, dear heart. Rise.

Rise outward, onward and upward. Rise from the shattered, refuse to be still, in hues of blue and red, in pride and glory.

Let me have your courage, dear heart.

Let me have your audacity to live.

 

Of Scars.

When I thought of you then

I’d be happy, excited,glad to have a person who got me

And stoked the child in me.

That was the year I left the battleground behind me

Determined to live my life and my age.

That was the best year

For you walked into my life promising friendship, laughter and abundant cheap tea by the road side.

It wasn’t too long before the sun burnt my skin raw and the tea bittered my mouth all over.

I clung to whatever I had left

You let me

Showing off my burnt skin as your badge of honour

All the while, lighting cigarettes and testing my raw against their glowing ember.

I lived through it though,

My skin healed. The bitterness eventually left my mouth. The scars that stayed made for interesting stories.

And whispered everyday “You lived, you lived. You healed.”

On survival.

You broke my house, my dreams, my precious fairytales.

You took my heart in your large hands and

Ripped it apart.

You watched me in pain,

Gasping for air

Fighting just to live.

**

Did you think you’d win?

With your dark clouds, the thunderclaps and the terror you brought?

Did you think I’d run? That

I’d be scared of the noise, the nightmares and the feeling of dread

Around me, inside of me?

I lived. I died. And lived again.

I rained. And took your whole world with me.

 

You.

I see you

In all your finery

The glazed look and the dreamy eyes.

I see you

As you walk by

Your jewels dazzling the bystanders.

The sighs, the admiration, the applause

That everyone showers on you.

I see you

You hold my hands and look into my eyes

Your accusing laughter when you joke about my

travels. Absence. Unavailability.

I see you

Floating across our house

Long legs, arched feet, the happy comings and goings.

I see you

As you lie on our bed

Your body someone else’s

Your soul lifeless

Your eyes restless

Your breathing heavy and irregular.

I see you

When you wake in the morning and do you hair the first

thing in the morning. Admiring your luscious locks in the mirror.

I see you. I don’t see her.