Can I have it, baby?

Can I have your pain?
Friday night?

In the darkest hour when you felt so overwhelmed with sorrow you thought you would burst?

Can I have the knife?
The knife you used to cut into your beautiful smooth white skin to release the pressure of your sorrow and fear.

Can I hold you in my arms?
My little girl, my big girl.

Sunday afternoon.
“Pinkie promise you won’t tell my secret.”
The moment you pulled your sleeves up and revealed your blood-red arms.

I close my eyes.
Breathing slowly through my nose.
My tongue sucked to the roof of my mouth, dry.


I hold open my arms, you fall into me.
My little girl, my big girl.

Can I have your tear’s, baby?
Can the salt of my tear’s heal as the balm of Gilead?
Can my arms hold, bandage your wounds?

My little girl, my big girl.

Did the slick coolness of the blade help you feel better?
Did the knife-edge numb your pain?
Did the cut make your sorrow go away?

“No, Mommy, No.”

We’re not so different. You and I
My little girl, my big girl.

I didn’t choose a knife to numb my pain
The slick coolness of drink.
It didn’t make my sorrow go away.

I have to learn.
My little girl, my big girl.
To use my voice.
I dig deep within my gut and find my strength. It is there.

Your strength is within you. I know this. I placed it there.
I planted seeds of strength and courage, and voice when you were at my breast,
I whispered words and melodies into your soul as you suckled.

You are fertile ground.
Solid, rich, full.
Dig deep.

My little girl, my big girl

You have what you need.
I “pinkie promise” I will always and forever be your gardener;
and tender of your soul.


3 thoughts on “Can I have it, baby?

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