I felt her inside me, the little girl so
frightened, a tear stained face
looking around anxious and alone
looking for a stay, an anchor
somewhere to take hold
It’s going to be me, I said. I
will do it. I can show you
the tenderness, the guidance.
Wisdom has come
painfully and in pieces, but
I can take your hand, give you
all that I have, share what
little I know, and you can be
safe with me. You can stop
looking out there
for someone to save you. I will
do it. I’ve learned how. Give me
the tears that no one would catch,
the hand unheld, the many hours
alone, and give them all to me.
I’ll do it.
The love I feel for you now is greater
than all that I had built up to hide you. Let
me give my space to you, and you will be
safe in me. Because they can’t. And it’s
ok. They have their own children to
carry. Everyone does.
But I can carry you. I can carry you.
Hayley Stoddard is a California native who is currently pursuing her Bachelor's degree in Colorado. She has been influenced by such writers as Billy Collins, Emily Dickinson, Anne Lamott, Leonard Cohen, and Mary Oliver. Her work has appeared in Winged Nation, and Parley. Several of her poems will be published in the upcoming issues of Oberon, After the Pause, Beyond Words, and Eris +Eros.