That Child


Edgy and uncomfortable
long bones throbbing
in syncopation to
late afternoon monsoons,
I stutter-step, surprised, toward

Longed-for solitude loops
half-glimpsed memories,
curious journeys,
dreams haunting clarity.
Rocking with pain
I sink into myself
chasing emotions through
convoluted crannies,
glimpsing images of a tiny being
I don’t immediately remember.

Who is that quizzical child
standing firm in tender hope,
fine wild hair swirling above
sun-squinted eyes and fat cheeks
hesitantly peering from her
beginning into her future?

Do old, grainy snapshots whisper
clues of emotions, dreams, needs,
of who she wanted to be?
Is there love beaming to her
through that camera lens?
Know she know that love?

Does that new little face recognize
this old puzzled laugh-lined
face with the whirling hair
we still share? Today
my fingers feel their way around
the mood maze etched in this skin
but I cannot trace the meanderings
which molded this shy, lined person.

Was there an incarnation agreement
some faith-choosing baptism
requiring I swim, sometimes drown,
in this particular red river
on this turbulent and dusty portion
of our blessed Earth?

Is there some softly rustling being
embracing me from behind
whispering into my secret ear
guiding, tempting me
to become this me I am now?

Was it necessary to stumble over
forgotten suggestions and promises
wisdom mislaid and overlooked
to become this soul learning
to lovingly inhabit this
fragile and exhausted body?

Not knowing if it is a flaw or
a brilliant design
that keeps my dreams
ever before me,
I look to the child
for hints, perhaps answers.

Neither of us recognizes the other, yet
it seems that most of this lifetime has been
remembering what she came here knowing.


10 thoughts on “That Child

  1. Wonderfully expressed!! I sometimes feel that I’ve lived so many lives, yet they are all in this one body, this one ‘birth’. I often feel, when remembering something, that I’m looking into someone else’s life?? I recognize the child I see, when viewing old photos, yet don’t always recognize “me”


  2. Childhood is such a long time behind us and yet you have spoken of that universal world and your own unique childhood as well. We do seem to look at ourselves as if we are different people back then. Thank you for this lovely poem and speaking of the now and the then.


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