Wounded

Sit upon a hill and look down

At the school and the children playing,

Swinging on the swings,

Chasing each other through the grass,

Laughing and calling after one another;

So innocent,

So full of joy.

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The memories rush back into your mind

Of a time when you were of an age

Sitting alone on those same swings,

Watching as the other kids played their games,

Wishing you could join in,

But no one ever asked you to play,

No one noticed.

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Hide away inside yourself,

In the back of the class,

Wanting nothing more than to go home;

Sit alone on your bed and talk to

The lion that waited patiently for you,

Listened to your every word of anger,

Dried your every tear

When no one else would.

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The tears stream down your face,

Mirroring the water the children pour

Upon dried dirt, turning it to mud.

Remembering what has so long been

Locked deep inside

Now bursting through the bandages,

The stitches and the seams.

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Shadows dance across the playground,

Mocking and taunting you

As the children did so long ago.

They rip apart your fragile shell,

Stomp the pieces into the grass.

They snap your wings,

Shred the white feathers

Leaving you bloody with everything,

Everything exposed.

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Trembling upon the hill,

Covered in the bloody remains

Of who you thought you were,

You pick up the pieces,

Shimmering faintly through the blood,

Their light fades and goes dark

As the rain begins to fall.

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As you stand alone,

Broken bits of yourself within your hands,

Old wounds bleeding freely,

Open to the world,

The shadows vanish,

But the rain continues to fall

As freely as your tears.

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A broken piece yourself falls from your hands,

Sinking into the wet grass,

And as you watch, it begins to grow

Into a single red rose

Green leaves unfurling,

Blood red petals unfolding,

Shaking off drops of blood and tears

It blooms

Just for you.

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Leaning down, you cradle the rose in your hands,

Holding it close to your heart

As you turn away from the playground,

Away from the children,

Heading back to your life,

The rose held protectively

In your arms.