To My Child

To My Child ~ A poem by Dale, a survivor of Rift Valley Academy, Kenya 

I'm sorry,
For I have treated you
as oh so many elders oft' before:
Not wanting to hear your tale;
Not wanting to know your hell; 
Not wanting to believe
such darkness could be real; 
or feel your confusion and your pain.

I've shoved you apart from me.
You're far too much a part of me;
It's far to hard for me to bear.
So I've left you there to bear it all alone;
to hide in agony and shame.

Denial is so useful.
Denial has its price in life.

I'm sorry
That my arms were not so strong to hold you;
nor my ears to hear,
nor my voice to speak;
to comfort,
and to call for justice.

I've wanted you to hold me.
But, come and let me hold you now.

I'm sorry. 
Can you yet speak of things unspeakable;
make known the things unknown;
Bring light into the dark,
dark corner of my soul?
Can you open a door, 
locked and barred
for nigh on thirty years?

Oh child of mine - me
imprisoned for so long:
How can I help you learn to trust,
even me.

How can I help you learn to speak;
give voice to that you've held so long?

How can I help you through the time
to know the present?
To live in the present?

The door is now unlocked - unbarred
the latch now on your side.

Open when ready!
And may God give us strength.