Poem: A Strange and Wonderful Innocence

A Strange and Wonderful Innocence

I catch you in the moment the camera never does,
when the shields are let down, and I am allowed
to know the truth of you, what lies behind the eyes,
behind the decorative laughter that defines you
to the world, protective and oh-so-attractive;
winsome and bright and memorable.

I am not immune to that charm. Not at all,
falling in love with each smile all over again,
but feeling far more honored in moments like this,
the pain and fear leaking out, the sad truth of a past
most would never imagine. Could never imagine.
no matter how well or how often you share the story,

the truth
is still hard.
The pain
is still there.

And I am left, eyes open to all of you,
in love all the more, for who you have become,
are becoming, despite it all, or maybe,
because of it all, a strange and wonderful
innocence that somehow prevails.
the evils you have suffered.

It makes me want to kiss you

About this poem

The older I get; the more I do my work; the more I understand how many of us are carrying deep pains. And those who trust you, or I, with the truth of that pain? That’s love. That’s trust. That’s courage.

The picture was taken at a Rennaisance Faire years ago. I was given permission to use it


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