To My Child ~ A poem by Dale, a survivor of Rift Valley Academy, Kenya
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.
That my arms were not so strong to hold you;
nor my ears to hear,
nor my voice to speak;
and to call for justice.
I've wanted you to hold me.
But, come and let me hold you now.
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,
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.