Inner Child

An infant.....born...
to family torn..
by tragedy....the dad....
with polio, near dead...
the mom, alone,
away from home...
finally, all came
together, father lame...
mom preoccupied...
the infant cried...
“Please, love me, dear
and hold me near....”

A babe....now one...
learning.... having fun
with detached dad,
a loving lad...
and doting mom
to keep him calm....
Yet, what he needs...
attention feeds...
for when he cries,
his father tries
to hush the sound
with swats around...
And so he learned,
this lesson turned
to quiet stay
and silent play....
Still, all his locus..
love in focus.

A child.....now eight....
for sister waits....
and then she’s here,
a baby dear....
But love he wanted,
to her, now haunted
by that cruel twist,
his mind resist...
He cannot see...
remembering
her childhood days,
that time a maze.....
And still he cried
for love.....he tried.

And now....a teen,
a mind that’s keen...
but compromise....
internalize.
Alone he plays,
imagined ways...
A comic turn,
attention earn...
Inside a shy
and lonely guy....
Yet, still he seeks,
a love that speaks....

Adulthood came....
a cruel game
of searching long
for love.....a song
within his heart....
new life.....new start...
but still he cried,
for love he died...
But those he made
were bound to fade....
He substituted....
in falseness rooted...
“Love me sure,
and love me pure, ”
he asked of life,
his friends...his wife....

In middle-age,
this quiet sage...
still crying out...
for love about...
When all along
his plaintive song
was never heard...
each note...each word...
“Please, father, love me,
truly, freely....”
But then one died,
the other cried....
“You never said,
just silent dread.”

A few years down,
another town
now mother’s found
an illness bound...
The boy awaits,
these cruel Fates...
that bring him here,
in solemn tear...
to hear her say,
“I love you, so I’ll stay.”
But, no, her train
can’t bear the pain...
and so she’ll go...
and never know.
His loving gaze,
into her eyes...
“I love you, much....
each smile....each touch...
but can you tell....
(please, speak it well) ....
you’ve loved me too?
As I’ve loved you?

And once again, the infant cried
for all the hurt he felt inside,
for all the years...
And all the fears....
When love came rare...
a heart that’s bare...
For once again,
the world will spin
a dad detached....
closed heart...hard latched...
and mom preoccupied...
His pain he’ll ever hide

by Richard Elam

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