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Walking to Fear

The five-year-old me, meandering

across flowered blue-green grass

from Grandma’s house, the one filled

with cookies and milk and love.


Towheaded pigtails, pink sandaled feet

matching my checkered pinafore,

sun shining on freckled legs moving toward home.

The eyes of Mother watching from afar.


I remember this child, the one I rarely

acknowledge, alone and afraid,

walking more slowly, attempting invisibility,

waiting for the anger and the blows.


Seeing her face, blank then scary,

furrowed brow and dark, glaring eyes,

hands on hips watching my every step coming closer.

Be alert, be small, be unseen.


The mantras remain with adulthood,

the ones I push away, making room for the

innocent child who visits her grandmother

and picks daisies in the field.

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