Subtle Grace


"Grace" my father used to call
me, a child of 10, 12, 14 with
bruises on my long legs, scratches
and bumps from running into things.
i would not pay attention to the
things around me, i was caught up
in the beauty and wonder of it all
curious, questioning, full of wonder 
and joy at all the things there are to see.

home was different. home was silence
thick as death, pain and rage and the
smell of alcohol on my mother's breath.
slaps and tears. let me go outside,
let me walk down the long, paved road
that went no where, find a bird's feather
and run my fingers over and over it,
wondering about the bird who lost it.
did he miss it? could he fly with one
less feather? looking down at the feather,
i'd trip over a stone and skin my knee,
pick myself up and go back to dreaming.

miracles present themselves humbly to
children who are aware. i saw many
when i was young. some i can even
remember now in my 42nd year. head
turned up to watch the clouds, i'd
run into someone's carelessly parked
bike and bruise my ankle. look down,
look around, shrug it off.

night time. stars. moon. wind. alive.
trees look like people in the dark and i
would often say a cheerful "hello!" to
oaks and elms before realizing they were
not people, though they were alive.

i still love night the best.


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