She is shivering on the sofa,
drowsing deep
into her pillow which she clutches
tight against her head,
soft flicker of television
                    imploring her to dream.

Poor girl –
so terrified to sleep alone
in her room, yet unable
                         to say why,
being that “Amen”
is the only word she can shape,
                       and it’s at best
     barely an utterance.

Forever a child,
             and I love her as such –

a blaze of enthusiasm
upheld by tenuous legs which
constantly shift from side to side,
                       ambling unsteadily
through her limited world,
with eyes like twin pitchers of cream
pouring astonishment
                      over all she sees.

And sure, most people
are generally inclined
                   toward sympathy,
believing themselves
somehow better than she,
believing they know her
somehow better than she,
seeing her as something
     saying that I’m a saint
                     for doing what I do,
     because they’re so
utterly afraid to face her,
                      telling themselves
it’s someone else’s problem.

But if only they knew
                     how she smiles –

-r. miller


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