My Valentine

I thought

the well

was dry

the eyes

still swollen

from yesterday’s

grief

how could there

be any salt

left to mix

with these

tears

that can’t

stop

flooding

my eyes?

 

How come

even if

I already knew

the words

that were

about to

fall off

the speech

therapist’s

tongue

did I react

with

sobbing?

 

If part

of me

knows

social tics

are OK

why does

the feeling part

rage

against

the idea

of another

issue

to deal

with?

 

Why

does

one kid

get five

disabilities

while

another

soaks

up learning

like a sponge

meant solely

for lessons

taught in the

old familiar ways?

 

Why do

clothes

feel like

too tight bandages

and the throat

is something

to clear

the forehead

a place to trace

her finger

her hair

needing

tucking

behind her ears?

 

Oh how I love

every single

part of her

yet I cry

with fear

and anger

as I think

about the way

other kids

look at her

and say out

loud what

they observe

with their

tender eyes

 

Oh how she

jumps

under the table

at the restaurant

as we discuss

the video of her

5-year-old self

tucking

her hair

behind each ear

and adjusting

her pants

she is

embarrassed

to be the thing

not like the

other

 

Yet she

is mine

these tics

and movements

are nothing

more than

adjustments

for skin

that doesn’t

quite

like these

rules

these clothes

this air

around us

 

When she plays

alone or

with those

she knows best

when she runs

when she swims

when she is comfortable

in her own grace

no tics

are present

how to expand

those moments

into a lifetime

of love

 

How to step

past grief

into action

always the same

question

when

someone hands

you an unwanted

valentine

a question

to answer

that lives

already in

your body

the one

you tucked

there

long ago

saying it

doesn’t

matter

knowing

you hide it

behind your

heart

because it

matters more

than you want

it to

 

Hello

unanswered

question

welcome

to this

guest

house

 

copyright NSA

2.12.2012

 

 

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