1_7078348317_7b497868ae_zFBApril is Child Abuse Prevention Month. It is a month to honor children everywhere, those who have been harmed and those we hope to protect.

It is also National Poetry Month.

For this blog, I want to share a poem by a woman I had the great fortune to meet and hear read her works many years ago, when I was a graduate student studying poetry. The poem talks of the meaning of life, of poetry, and the simple belief that children have in finding meaning in the world around them.

The poem is one of my favorites, and I think it is because it simply celebrates life through the eyes of children, in a way that reminds me to keep looking for good all around me.

Last week I stood in a park in downtown Medford, listening to stories of horrible abuse of young children and teens who live right here, in our neighborhoods and in our city. I stood with many other adults and honored the 707 young victims of abuse in Jackson County in 2015.

I took this poem with me, in my mind and heart. I held its simple reminder to believe in meaning all around me and in the wonder and certainty that all children have when they are born that the world is safe, a place of hidden secrets and delights.

I hold this belief that there is meaning in what we do – on behalf of children, on behalf of all who are hurt and suffering, on behalf of all of the families who come through our center needing help during some of the most difficult times of their lives.

Thank you, Denise Levertov, for finding me today with this poem, much like the young girls here found you, found meaning in your words. I offer this now in honor of this month celebrating the lives of children and the wisdom of poetry.

The Secret

By Denise Levertov

Two girls discover   the secret of life (2)