Though through tears we may grieve,
with regrets we may mourn,
until the day dawns
and the shadows flee away,
Your grace will always be sufficient.
Heed the echos of a heartache,
anguished sear of reverie.
Feel its scalp bleed down her face,
scathing tears of memories.
See the eyes that once freely smiled
fading with defeat.
As silent fields in which she lies
drift away with night’s conceit.
…because it’s okay to want to stay snuggled
under a comforter once in a while.
But I hope you won’t forget us,
nor the other kids at the children’s homes,
but that you will keep us in your thoughts and prayers
as we continue on this journey called life.
On my first day of walking to work at the hospital,
I met a group of children who would end up becoming my daily escorts.
This was a moment captured while the vigilant residents
inspected my suspicious-looking digital device.
Each word, a slap.
Each consonant, piercing.
Bursting in like a winter’s storm,
you permeated into our lives.
We wanted to help you,
but we only came to fear you.
Many shook their heads in pity.
Some avoided you.
Others talked about you.
Each gesture, scornful.
Each insult, stinging.
My attempts to talk to you
only seemed to anger you more.
You terrified me. Yet I yearned.
To see. To know. To understand.
I knew you were frustrated.
Your disease, unforgiving.
I knew you were discouraged.
Your body, powerless.
But why wouldn’t you let us care for you?
Each day, the same.
Each encounter, fruitless.
You turned us away again and again.
Until one day I confronted you.
I asked you why.
And you told me.
I know you don’t really care. This is only your job.
It all made sense.
The bitterness. The coldness. The distancing.
leaving behind the pride, the decorum,
my arms enclosed around you.
The fear escaping my racing heart
only after you made a move to wipe your eyes.
You then collapsed into me.
My shoulder, an insulation
to the sound of choked sobs.
You never said a word.
But in your cry I heard your anguish.
I heard desolation.
I heard relief.
Things were never the same after that.
Your bitterness was gone.
Your words, softer.
Your eyes, warmer.
You allowed us to care for you,
remaining strong even
as your disease progressed.
Until one day, like winter’s snow,
the seasons beckoned for you to leave.
But even then, as you faded away,
you reminded me of the day everything changed–
The day I gave you the hug.
Back at the orphanage,
Juan mourns over his friend,
who had recently passed away.
As a volunteer, Puppydoc made it one of her duties
to make all the little people smile.
Sometimes it worked.
Sometimes…not so much.