Hidden

Sitting on the bench,

trying to open my constricted self

to the park’s fresh air and sunshine,

I watch the playground antics of children.

 

They are learning, I think,

how to be loved.

 

A mother scoops up her daughter,

their giggles drifting by on the breeze.

 

I sigh, and wonder

what that childhood

might have been like.

 

The lessons of my upbringing

were all about survival.

 

Being noticed held dangers,

so I learned

to make myself

small.

 

I learned

to create

a face

they would not hate.

 

I learned

to take everything that is

truly me

and hide it deep,

deep,

deep

in shadow.

 

For it was,

back then,

all about them –

what they wanted,

what they needed,

what they demanded –

and my endurance.

 

So I sit here on the bench

in the sunshine

with myself

which is,

in reality,

not my self at all

but only a safe façade.

 

And I

want to find

what I had to hide

all those years ago.

 

I am no longer small,

and they are far away.

 

But I am finding it hard,

to uncover those true pieces,

so successfully hidden.

 

Here on the bench,

I glimpse glimmers of magic,

feel a joyful essence brushing by;

both elusive.

 

I watch the laughing children,

learning to be loved

and think

perhaps

in the end,

it is not

only

about survival.