Another Chance – by Ardhan Swatridge

A new poem by Ardhan (Paul) Swatridge – October 2019

We learned so much:
How not to trust,
how not to feel
and if we did,
to hide our fear
our loneliness,
our inner truth,
at any cost.

The rules served to
forced compliance,
closed our hearts.
We all obeyed
except the few
who broke and went
to darker hells.

We who survived,
the lucky ones,
buried deep our pain,
which sits for years,
a weight in waiting
for that later crisis
or the drip drip drip
that wears away the stone.

We needed armour then,
to try to be a ‘man’,
though much too young,
our innocence suppressed:
that vulnerable beauty
of shame-free feelings
lived fully in the raw;
of laughter, tears and rage.

Creativity first flowed
and then was blindly crushed
beneath those adaptations;
‘for your own good’ – they said.
So I forgot to mind
that innocent one,
to hug and hold that boy;
his fragile truth betrayed.

Is this present crisis
now another chance
to override my need
for a grey numb state?
for safe isolation,
for letting go a lie?
Can those hatches,
battened down for decades,
release their padlocks now?

Can I dare to feel
the grief of those lost years?
Can I let my ‘pleaser’ go?
Can I face the facts
and name it trauma now?
Can I give myself
the gift ‘he’ holds
in ‘his’ unblemished hands?

Relief at last, to breathe him
back to life again.
A light to penetrate
the dark of old beliefs
that nothing ever tried
could mend those cracks.
Now hope and love
are seeping through.

Is this coming home
after so long away?
Can these fragments
make a healthy whole?
So many loves lost,
but what about him?
He awaits me still,
to hold him and say,
“I love you my son.”

About Inner Ventures

Evolutionary Counsellor facilitator and guide on a spiritual path. Craftsman in wood, creative writer, environmentalist & change agent. This blog is my way of promoting my skills, ideas, concerns for the planet, creative work, spiritual searches and philosophy of life in a public forum.
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