Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Armadillo

Even the armadillo,
tucked within his banded armor,
maintains a soft underbelly.

It is possible for you to say, “No!”
while holding love
in your heart -

Love for yourelf,
and love for other.

Unconditional love,
does not equal
unconditional relationship.

Your boundaries are there
to hold you in a blessed

To wrap around that which
is so worthy of protection.

To be a medicine blanket.

There is a reason that “No!”
was one of the first words
your child-mouth uttered:

You are precious,

And that little one of you knew it,
knew it like breath,
knew it like giggles,
knew it like the wonderment
of every first.

Knew it in the kicks and screams,
tears and flush red face
when something just
wasn’t right.

I wish that I could have been
there that moment,
that fragile decisive moment,
when someone convinced
you that you weren’t
good anymore.

Not good.

Not good enough.

Not good.

Not worthy.

Not worthy enough


But I wasn’t there.

No true adult was;

Somewhere along the way
the initiation rites
were wronged.


Now we must listen
ever so carefully
to the elders:

The armadillo says,

“Let love be your softness.”

“Let love,

 be your softness.”

Take a leap of faith:

Love yourself and
our collective future
enough to say, “No!”

to everyone and everything
that violates the soul.

© 2013-2018/Jamie K. Reaser
Published in 'Wild Life: New and Selected Poems'

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