When all you’ve known is pain,
Pain is all you’ll ever know.
Again and again
Repeating each way
A different day, the same suffering
In a different shape.
What love is soft?
What love is twisted in shame?
Fight or flight or freeze
These are your options –
I chose to freeze.

Leave behind the feeling
Leave behind the body
That carries so much weight of memory
Dust and dirt and loam.
Play dead for the monsters –
Still get eaten alive.
Fear is etched in your nerves
In the lining of veins that travel
Up and down and across
And I will never be the same.

I want to hold the child close
To hug her so very tight
Never let her feel alone
So she won’t fear in the night.
Tell her she can be loved
That love is her birthright
When what hurts is over
She can build herself again
Top to bottom
A being of light.

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