The world is suddenly a paper swan,
Set on fire,
Crumpling into smoke and ashes,
Leaving an acrid bitterness
On the morning air.
It is something beautiful
That isn't quite as lovely anymore.
We take the joyful bulletins
Off the notice board
And put away the crayons and the chalks,
Forget the bunting,
Close the windows,
So the laughter from the street is muffled.
We are reminded that we are grown up.
The long shadow we cast
Is not a magic trick,
And the monsters are real,
And so much more than we imagined
When we were small and we could make believe
We made believe in this:
That someone else would always rescue us
When we were afraid.
That bogey men were ugly
Instead of simply other humans
Who have walked into doors by mistake,
And cried when they lost something precious
And were broken too, along some sacred fault line
They couldn't repair.
We are here.
Wearing black ribbons around our hearts
And wondering where to tread
Because the floor is lava
And the clock is ticking too loudly
As though time is leaving us,
Or we are late for something important
We are late for everything.
To save each other and our planet and ourselves,
But we are alive.
We are as real as velveteen rabbits
And a sky full of starlings.
We can't choose what the other broken people do.
Only how we take what has been broken in us
And hold ourselves together, anyway,
Like clay pots, cracked in the great heat of the oven, but surviving it.
We may be hurt but we are steady.
I am not afraid.
I am not daunted by any of this,
Because there are enough people willing
To learn origami
And make the swan anew,
So it can claim it's peaceful river.
There are enough people
Who will open the windows,
And get out the drawing pins
To stick up the banns
To marry us to hope, again.
There is still enough loveliness left
For a heart to have faith in.