Tag Archives: Belonging

Barriers

 

She was drunk, struggling to articulate

Lengthy pauses before each sentence

Halting, frustrated speech.

I’ve seen this before

 

She fights to be conscious, despite the sleeping pill

Her mind heavy

Her body stubborn

Her tongue a lead weight.

I’ve seen this before

 

She is deep in the throes of neurological degeneration

Lips uncooperative

Forcing thoughts through the thick walls

Of her solid-shrunk brain.

 

All of them demanding to be heard,

To be understood

Willing their selves past mental barriers

Deliberately balancing simple words

Like a child stacks blocks

With their fullest effort.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Winning him over

 

The first day
We showed him the world we had created.
Eager for him to join,
We overwhelmed him with a tidal wave
Of stories, emotions, what made us laugh,
Everything we had learned.
There was a wall behind his eyes.
He watched us but did not understand.
We were sure we’d messed up.
Insulted him somehow.
Or maybe he didn’t like who he saw.

That night, we talked it over.
His worried face in our minds grew clear.
What we had taken for judgment was fear.

He was the one who hadn’t been included
Who felt like he didn’t belong.
He was left out
Left out
And we hadn’t read it right.

The next chance we got
We treated him with more care
Curated his responses
And were rewarded
With uncommon warmth and gentleness.
He relaxed
Into a sage glow
And told us of his life, fears, loves.
Such is the difference
Belonging can make.