We received a lot of responses to the sharing of the poem “I Just Wanted to Tell You” by one of our therapists, Catherine Zern, LCSW. Many people were touched by the story she shared in this piece of a child reaching for love and guidance.
The poem was a tribute to the hundreds of children and teens who come through our center each year and to all who are suffering from abuse, neglect, loneliness, and fear.
In this post I want to share another poem, one by Maya Angelou. It is one of my favorites of her work and it is a follow up to the story of the child in the poem by Catherine. It is a poem about love and, for me, it is about the kind of love that gives us courage and opens our hearts to those who need us to be brave.
It is a poem about how and why we continue to do what we do for children and those whose lives are shadowed by fear and suffering. It is about the reason and the pathway to helping children and teens, even when things feel hopeless.
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and as we prepare for that, I will hold this poem in my mind and heart. I share it as a reminder for us all of the reason and the pathway.
And I share it as a tribute to the “angels” who come to us at the center and to the angels within each one of us.
Touched By An Angel
By Maya Angelou
We, unaccustomed to courage
Exiles from delight
Live coiled in shells of loneliness
Until love leaves its high holy temple
And comes into our sight
To liberate us into life.
And in its train come ecstasies
Old memories of pleasure
Ancient histories of pain.
Yet if we are bold,
Love strikes away the chains of fear
From our souls.
We are weaned from our timidity
In the flush of love’s light
We dare to be brave
And suddenly we see
That love costs all we are
And will ever be.
Yet it is only love
Which sets us free.