I see her now, so small, Crayola in her hand…
Printing pain and joy too huge for her vocabulary.
Later then, with lead and ink she scrawled
outside the boundaries of what she should have known,
and later still, her little blue plastic typewriter
tapped quietly as her unacceptable exuberance lit the page,
or her unexpressed sorrows bled through the keys.
She recognized the looks, and heard beneath the questions,
felt the discomfort she caused and only understood
that her voice was too big for her body to hold
and too much for others to want to hear.
Her friends would tell her when she shared how beautiful
her words, but where is this pain? What is this song?
This is not how we know you.
Then came the Silence.
Decades of coloring inside the lines.
I see her now, and she is different.
She walks in and out of view, quietly making her way
as the light and shadows illuminate and hide her face
from those who wonder.
She makes her way without second glance, or hesitation,
around those she allowed to mark her, and she is unafraid.
She knows how to be alone, how to fall and rise, how to burn.
So she takes her seat, puts fingertips to keyboard
and sets the dragon free to breathe fire
one more time.