Children are not resilient
as those who hurt them like to say.
They are not buoyant in a sea of insecurity,
and do not forget what they see and hear -
or what they never see and hear.
Like a camouflaged white winter rabbit
children know how to be quiet and survive.
Humiliating words, indifferent glances,
missing hugs, a blow to a helpless body
breaks something inside. It heals in a crooked way,
leaving damage that burrows into a wordless place.
One day the unspoken will speak:
talking back to authority, arguing with a teacher.
He will whisper your mama to someone,
ask a little girl to have sex.
She will throw food in the cafeteria,
leave homework on the kitchen table,
start a fight on the playground.
He will choose to do nothing with his worthless life.
She will have babies for the unconditional love.
The wordless pain might resurface and run away,
buy a gun, rob a store and kill someone -
someone in the way of that quiet damage.