There, there

Why are we so
afraid of what is underneath the anticipation
of a tear
or the welling up of feelings
long gone
There, there I say to all

all of us to each of us to any of us willing
to question to embrace to be brave there is no need to hide
to fear
or reject the undercurrent pulling
asking you to get curious to feel
something begins speak
curse grunt yell shake
out loud or whisper your truth
There, there I say

to it all the beauty and the hurts
the wild and the joy the simple and the complicated
the layers the horizon
There, there I say

hold on
to your own shoulders and allow yourself to feel
to sit deep with a heart wishing
to be heard
thought of, acknowledged
today as many times as needed
There, there you can do it

you can hear it
the drumming feelings getting strong fighting hard making a mess
stomping like thunder rising
why are we not listening!
instead pretending
suffocating closing our eyes to ourselves
There, there I say often, soften

soften your brow widen your eyes find
your heart with your warm finger-tips now
sway to the softness beating
within you the melody calling
only you know the verse
meet yourself
where you are while whispering with love
There, there sweet one I see you

suffering in your beautiful deep feelings
There, there I am here
There, there


  1. i cannot find the words to express how much I liked this self-compassionate poem and the soft, comforting photograph that accompanies it, except to say I have copied it so I can keep it near. Your tactic of finishing each stanza with a “there, there” phrase is compelling; and I studied the way you repeated soften to bridge stanzas and introduce a new thought. So nice.

    1. Thank you, Janet. It gives me great hope that you will hold this poem close. I think you know, I am a instructional aide at an elementary school. I am around so many different feeling people each day. And, many of them (adults and the children) are not educated or interested in feeling their feelings. They would rather disregard or shove them somewhere else. It pains me to watch them day in and day out suffer when all they need to really do is just acknowledge, feel and comfort themselves with love. I’ve had great success in feeling my way through something uncomfortable when saying the word, soften, to myself when I feel the tension, control grip me and hearing someone tenderly speak, “there, there…” is just one of the most healing sounds. This poem is very personal and something I wish more in the world were willing to trust and practice.

Please take a moment, comments encouraged.

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