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Behind closed doors

The child sits alone on the second lowest stair.
His heart is open wide to the feeling of despair.
Although the kitchen door is closed, he hears every word
And every time his name is screamed he knows he is absurd;
Incongruous and obsolete, ridiculous and wrong.
And so, in deepest fear he begins to sing a song:
‘Somewhere, out there beneath the pale moon light,
There’s someone thinking of me and loving me tonight.’
He sings the song for comfort but it doesn’t fill the void.
He wasn’t who they’d wanted and he ought to be destroyed.
Maybe he should say that he is sorry to them now.
Sorry for existing and for causing such a row.
Or maybe that would make it worse, to show his little face.
After all, he doesn’t understand the human race.
Yet here he sits, this little boy, in wretchedness and guilt,
Knowing that he caused this with the lemon juice he spilt:
It makes the floor all sticky and it’s very hard to clean,
Maybe if he died he’d be invisible, unseen.
But if he was invisible, he’d just get left behind,
And that is so much worse than having parents who aren’t kind.
And so he does not die, but sits in panic on the stair,
With nobody to comfort him; with nobody to share.
This is his reality, although it is my past,
And one day soon I’m hoping he will let me in, at last.
I’ve built a lot of bridges to him.  Now I see the way.
But I’m scared he doesn’t want me so I cannot cross today.
I know he’s sitting, fearful; panic in his tummy,
Waiting for the shadow of the woman I called ‘mummy’.
But shadows do not satisfy the hunger of my child;
Shadows can’t support him to be trusting; to be wild.
Shadows only reinforce his reasons not to trust;
They’re made of broke down castles which have all but turned to dust.
I want, so much, to parent him, to show him he is fine;
To thank him for existing in the void of the divine
In the centre of my heart beyond the reach of time and space.
Sometimes, in the mirror, I can see his little face.
10th June 2011 © Simon Welsh Poetry
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