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



I learned

to create

a face

they would not hate.


I learned

to take everything that is

truly me

and hide it 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


in the end,

it is not


about survival.