Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 of Silent Scream poems
I am now able
to help someone else --
listen to her stories
tell her that I love her
promise it will get better
and say how brave she is
I can say I understand
and share her anger,
and sometimes gently touch
her frightened face
and say it is all right.
I can tell her she is beautiful
even when she feels debased.
And now and then
she lets me hold her,
lets me share her deepest pain
the loneliness of her mistrust.
I am healed enough
to help someone else
and find that all my pain
has geater meainging.
In sharing love
my trauma is redeemed.
Driving down the street on a spring afternoon
I saw an old man on the sidewalk,
Bent posture and wavering walk.
Well-dressed, he steadied himself on his car
and cautiously began to step toward the street.
He was too old to drive, I thought,
a plucky fellow, perhaps eighty years.
I felt sorry for him.
As my car approached and he turned to
walk to the door of his,
I realized he was no stranger --
he was father.
We hadn't spoken for three years.
My deep desire to stop, to say hello
and my rage of hate and anger
ran together across my eyes and cheeks.
I speeded up my car, pulled down the sunshade
and watched from the sideview mirror
as he entered his car.
An old man, powerless though only sixty-five
he seemed eighty.
Beat my hands into the couch!
that life has given me such confusion
love and pity mixed with hate and fear.
No simple answer and no return -- no way out.
He can no longer hurt me
yet the burden of the load of
painful memories and unresolved confusion
destroys the beauty of a spring afternoon
and my compassion for an old man.
There are those who expect me to forgive
to let charitable kindness and reason
wash over me
like a rushing stream
over jagged rocks --
Seventy times seven --
the command may mean more
than first appears
Not that one says "I forgive"
over and over and over
nor that to will it
makes it so,
but that one forgives
as one loves --
Forgiveness is a process
that begins with knowledge
believing in change.
I feel little charity now.
I can hope
it may happen
as I come to understand
myself and you.
Seventy experiences and understandings
times seven or seventy more.
I can believe I will forgive
someday -- then.