to a daughter on the brink of everything

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Eyes sparkle

at the mention

of reliving old rituals.

Your words escaped

before you knew

the sun was quickly setting

on this stage of your life.

They were not a betrayal,

for you and your soon to be

former self

relished these times

and these places.

Yet they were not

wholly true either.

Such honesty is too vulnerable

to acknowledge

in this liminal space

as you hang upside down

on an emotional trapeze

swaying back and forth,

knowing you must let go

and hanging on for dear life

to all that’s familiar.

Not quite ready for the world

toward which your heart is set

yet lingering on the vine

that has brought you this far.

Looking on from afar

(though we are mere feet apart)

I hold your soul’s hand,

ever in awe

of the changing landscape

within you.

Gripped with grief

at your self aware

and somewhat self conscious

surrender to the parentified fate

that befalls so many,

I wish I could hold up my arms

to keep that sun from dropping

out of sight.

Alas, I sit in the dark,

entertaining fantasies of fixing,

wanting to tell you:

Let go of the need to help others

if it means abandoning yourself.

Be present

to your soul’s firm persuasion.

Tether yourself to holy selfishness,

for the siren call of hustling for the blessing

is nearly impossible to withstand,

and it may be decades

before you realize

all you felt you had to give up

in order to be in communion

with love.

Krister White