Learning Love

She grew up in a world where
it was obvious she was not the favorite.
The middle child of six,
the one who cried all the time.
They said she didn't know why she cried,
but she knew.
She yearned for love,
but wouldn't let anyone see;
visibility would make her vulnerable,
and being vulnerable hurt too much.

Instead she gave away
all the love she had inside her.
Ahead of her time,
she didn't need new age slogans
and inspirational quotes to learn the lesson:
love tossed freely into the world
comes back many times over,
like the endless waves rushing the shore.

She wanted to be loved,
and she was loved by many,
but she was never a good swimmer.
So, when waves of love crashed over her,
she thrashed around before
reluctantly, she grasped the hands
that reached out to pull her in.

She wanted to be thankful,
gracious at the gifts they bestowed on her,
but all she could do was
cast out her net of love
in hope of keeping them close.

~Elise Skidmore ©2019

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