Come, little child, out from your hiding place
and show yourself
hands clasped so tight as though
you’re holding yourself together –
or is it that you’re holding yourself from the light,
hiding from me,
taunting me from the shadows?
Come, little girl, come out into the light
and reveal where that giggling
and freefall into fresh-raked leaves
has been concealed.
Why are you lurking about
when you could be playing
open-hearted and free in the brilliant sun?
Come, little doe, away from whatever refuge
you have built up in the past
before its walls come caving in around you
and stealing you away completely.
Those walls can’t help you now
for you’ve already survived being plundered
and left for dead,
and I’ve long ago picked up the pieces of your heart
glittering like shards of diamonds
and crackling under the weight of wary steps.
Come, little one, and bring your head out from under the covers,
the monster’s long gone.
You don’t need to lock the closet
or search under the bed
or light up the night with blinding lamps for protection.
He isn’t lurking over your shoulder,
darting about in the shadows as you desperately
flinch at every noise and sound you don’t understand.
Those are just memories, child,
ghosts in your past –
evil phantoms that taunt
into cowering in the corner under a monster
who has been banished from your presence.
Those are just demons, gentle grace,
a legion of whirling demons
tumultuous seas of darkness
you’ve trapped in your memory
like a vice
locked in invisible fetters
that your little desperately gripping hands won’t seem to let go.
Wake up, child, come out of that nightmare
that stalks you in your sleep
and clings to you as you rise from slumber.
They are only dreams
mists and fogs of a terrible past but
they can’t hurt you now no matter how much you insist
you feel them tearing your flesh open
and ripping your peace away.
They are only memories there.
Don’t run into the darkness again.
Don’t cling onto those illusions.
Stop hoarding yourself away.
Why are you hiding, child,
why are you holed up in abysmal isolation?
I’m reaching back for you,
holding out my hand,
searching desperately in shadows where I have no business being.
Just come back out, little one,
just come back out to play.