Encounter with a Younger Self

Sometimes we get off the track, we end up in a ditch, and we need to find a way back.
An unlikely ray of sunshine comes along-
Toddler pictures. Pictures of us smiling in our simpler, childhood days.
Since I discovered this magic, there’s one just standing in the corner of my room.
I look at the little girl smiling so naturally, and I think, who am I to ruin her? I love her. I must protect her. I wonder if she’d be disappointed at me and recent things.

Dear girl,
You carry your bruises like medals, and I hide mine with shame.
You laugh at the world which hates you, and I stay away from the one which cares.
You don’t mind being wild and crazy, and I mind even being seen.
You’re excited about everything, and I’m afraid to say I love a thing.
You smile to your ears, in your perfect discontent, while I, even in the best of situations, just know how to show restraint.
Would you tolerate what I have; would you cause yourself free pain?
Would you carry through the day, lifeless, headached, and so vain?
Would you let yourself be used, and be told that you can’t feel?
Would you openly deny, what in life is truly real?
Dear girl, I’m sorry if you’re now feeling abused.
It was never my intention.
Starting now, you’ll be my muse.
I don’t need to live this way.
For you, I’ll be me, but I’ll guard strong.
For you, when I feel a silly smile, I’ll hold on.
For you, I’ll let my heart beat as it likes.
For you, I’ll be a human of a million types.
And for you, just for you, I’ll be innocent again.

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