you looked so little there,
sitting at the top of the stairs
you knew that you shouldn’t listen in
because even at that age you knew
that things you have to overhear
are things you don’t want to hear.
I wish you could have seen your face
when they told you
the thing they just realized
what you long ago knew.
you were too kind to feign surprise
and hide your contempt
for their fumbling delay
you were such a sweet thing
and extra sensitive too
I wonder if there was anything they could do
to teach you
not to listen to their indoctrination
that your small acts of rebellion
the rush of stealing,
the dabbling in altered states,
the vivid dreaming and visions,
the loving yourself for hours
were beautiful and powerful
that your nosebleeds were metaphysical
that all your internal knowing was truth.
If they’d only given a wink or something
to signify some self-awareness
as they fed you lies and denied,
maybe it wouldn’t have taken you so long
to repossess what was always yours.
but maybe it’s better this way,
maybe power reclaimed
is stronger than power maintained.