The present has been engulphed
   by the past.
Stilled and frozen in the moment,
I feel like a captive, a prisoner
   of my unknowingness.
There can be no return,
a pattern cast cannot be changed,
Seeing, I live out the effect
   of a former blindness,
wanting to speak, but silenced,
wanting to act, but bound.
In loving you I cannot turn
   from you,
but in needing me, you demand
   only the part,
and not the whole.
In you is a damaged child,
both needing and fearing
   a father's love.
Tripping over your words,
your speech is disrupted by
   the unspoken,
the past, intruding, welling up,
   between the syllables.
I would reach to hold and console,
   but am denied,
for my touch only recalls another's
   cruel hand.
Attached to you, I remain peripheral,
   needed, but unwanted,
a prisoner of your mistrust.

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© 1990 Steven E. Callihan

URL: http://www.callihan.com/