Tag Archives: Love

Can You Love Me?

~Esther Mitchell, 2016~

“Can you love me as I am?”
Asked the snowflake of the sun.

“I’ll only love you as the water,
I can make a gas, like me,”
Replied the sun,
And destroyed the snowflake’s fragile beauty,
And everything that made her unique.

“Can you love me as I am?”
Asked the sapling of the storm.
“Nourish me and help me grow,
To be a tree, strong and true to who I am?”

“No,” boomed the storm,
“I’ll only accept you if you grow,
The direction I demand.”

Then the storm sent wind and lightning,
To break the sapling’s spirit,
And bend its will with fiercest threat.

“Can you love me as I am?”
Whispered a tiny voice in the night,
As tiny feet crept to the edge of a bed,
Asking for a trust that should never be earned.
“No matter what or who I turn out to be,
Can you always accept and love be,
For no reason but that I’m me?”

Be careful with that fragile trust,
And how you answer back,
For while words forever carry a mark,
It’s what you do that tells the story,
of the person you really are.

father-giving-hand-to-a-child-by-david-castillo-dominici

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici

“Compass”

~Esther Mitchell, 2015~

Did you ever truly believe in me?
I never saw a glimmer of belief,
Your pretty words hung hollow,
A shiny bauble between us, with no substance.
You were supposed to be my first supporter,
My cheerleader against the world,
My compass to understand honesty,
And you taught me only that I should accept your lies,
Because you told me they were true,
And you assumed I could not see the deception as it was.
I found my compass elsewhere,
In eyes that saw me as beautiful,
When all I saw was a discarded, ugly thing.
I learned what belief was,
In the actions of another,
A guardian angel who flew in on roaring engines,
To save me from my own hand,
When you couldn’t even be bothered to know I was gone.
I was too old for Fairy Tales,
When I found my first true supporter,
Who was awed by all the things you failed to see,
Who wrapped me up when I was cold,
and who loved me, for me.
Did you ever truly believe in me?
I’ve learned the answer to that question,
In bitter contrast between what you failed to give,
And the strength another gave me, to live,
And the answer is a resounding “No,”
Because had you believed in me then,
You would believe in me, still,
And I would not feel a stranger,
To the blood in my own veins,
Every time I hear you exclaim,
Another’s triumphs as your pride,
When you couldn’t even bother,
To see me, when I was right before your eyes.

Compass

“Fairy Tales”

~Esther Mitchell, 2015~

I learned very young,
To hide pain behind a smile,
And that disappointment didn’t exist,
Unless it was someone else’s, in me.
While other children knew carefree,
I learned to act like I belonged,
I perfected the comedy of “play,”
To cover over a tragedy in which I was the corpse.
My flesh houses an empty hollow,
That echoes even today with my silent screams.
By the time my peers learned to read,
I was pouring out what was left of my soul on tear-stained pages.
I had already learned sticks and stones merely left bruises,
But words had the power to kill,
It only took one to take away the rest of my life,
Washed it away in a sea of chlorine meant to white-wash the truth,
Into something more palatable for adults to swallow.
See, they don’t want to hear that you’re damaged,
Or that you’re pulled apart from the inside,
A twisted, rotting corpse of yourself.
A child is supposed to be happy,
And if you’re not, they don’t want to know.
They’ll stick their heads so far into the sand they come up in an ocean,
Where they can’t possibly see the evidence of your tears.
I was a prisoner in solitary confinement,
Attempting my own execution, just to escape the monsters in my head,
Hoping to outrun demons that mocked me with my own worthlessness.
When I was still a child, I learned not to wish,
There was no genie in my bottle,
Just a handful of white oblivion, ready to swallow me up if I let it.
It became easy to think of letting it.
It became easy to let it.
And then an angel taught me how to fly.
Taught me clouds were meant to be walked on.
Taught me corpses could be brought back to life, could be beautiful again.
Taught me what it was like to fall.
Taught me what it’s like when the ground swallows you whole,
Takes away angels and sweeps away clouds,
Until there’s nothing left but that hollow, empty grave.
And the blood runs red,
Streams that become rivers,
Until it carries away the pain,
And I wish again – to remove the heart that won’t stop beating.
Because I learned as a child,
Fairy tales are only there to trick you into ignoring the darkness.

Image by graur codrin

Image by graur codrin

“Child of the World”

~Esther Mitchell, 2001~

I was born a child of the world,
Knowing no borders,
No boundaries,
No race, religion, or creed.

I was born a child of the world,
Daughter of the Earth,
Of the Sky, of the Sea, of the Flame,
Sister to all creatures.

I was born a child of the world,
I know none of the boundaries,
You place on hearts, minds and souls.

I was born a child of the world,
I don’t know your hate,
I know only encompassing love.
I mourn for the bloodshed,
I mourn for the pain,
I weep on this ground,
That bears your hate’s stain.

I was born a child of the world,
And I’ve travelled it over, in body and dream,
I know the faces of all its peoples,
I embrace them all just the same.

There is no one beneath me,
No one placed above,
I am a child of the world,
And my message is only love.

globe

“Fae Kisses”

~Esther Mitchell, 1985~

A sprinkle of crystalline drops,
A gossamer robe hung to dry,
The whispered song of mother to young,
An echo of sweet lullaby;

The rustle of unseen footsteps,
Upon lush, color-strewn rugs,
And the tickle of bubbling laughter,
That wraps ‘round you like a hug;

Each wooded glade knows,
The sweet song of Morning’s mist,
As each pathway glows,
Touched by a Faery’s sweet kiss.

POET’S NOTE:
I wrote this poem what seems like a lifetime ago, now, as I sat in a tiny grove of trees, listening to the spirits of Nature all around me. In that morning light, I found feelings that forever linger, and made a friendship that’s followed me all the years since. I decided to share the thoughts I could only find words to put to paper in a poem, all those years ago.

Angel Child

“Prisoner of Words”

~Esther Mitchell, 2010~

You never told me that you loved me,
That you were proud of me just as I was,
That you believed in me, or even saw me.
For decades, the words lingered out of reach,
Locked behind the bars of your teeth,
Like a political dissident you didn’t dare let foul the air,
With feelings you could not embrace.
I grew up in sterile air,
Fed on nothingness and whispers of silence,
Breathing that which was not breathable.
I learned from the cradle,
To fear a god in which I did not believe,
That backs turn, and I am invisible,
When the words I have to speak,
Aren’t words you want to hear.
Now, I hear words I do not believe,
They fill my ears like the Dead Sea,
Buoyant, without substance, without life,
And yet, I drown where I should not even sink.
My lips feel wooden,
Around the words you expect in return.
I never learned to love you,
Because I never learned your love,
A wall of ice I cannot melt,
A broken trust too late to mend.
I’ve already extended the olive branch,
In trembling limbs reaching for the sun,
Only to shrivel up and retreat,
Against the chill of insincere platitude.
No, you never told me that you loved me,
And all the strength I’ve ever learned,
Came from another source,
And everything I’ve become,
Was made with my own two hands.

door

“Memoriam”

~Esther Mitchell, 2014~

 

I know you’re out there somewhere,

among the bleached white sentinels,

Another reminder of the cost of freedom,

Another symbol of the price of liberty.

 

While others hold you up as a symbol,

I scour every picture,

For just one hint, one little sign,

That points me back to you.

I promised us both I would find you,

someday very soon,

out there among the rows,

of sentries forever at attention,

unflinching in the heat, the rain, the snow.

 

You’re far more to me than just a fallen hero,

And I weep each time I fail to find your face among them,

I know you wait for me, out there,

You call for me,

And a promise still unfulfilled,

whispers in the night,

I swore you’d never be alone,

I’d stand there, by your side.

I promised I’d come talk to you,

Just like we always did,

And it scalds my soul to know,

I still don’t know which blank white face is yours.

 

I’ve made us both a promise,

I won’t rest until I know,

Until I’ve lain my head on the earth

there below the lifeless stone,

And found your face in the air above.

I haven’t found you again, just yet,

But I’m on my way,

And someday soon, my love,

I’ll finally find my way home to you.

arlington