Arms Wide Open

I came to you with my arms half open
and my ears half-listening.
I said,
“Don’t feel like that, it’s all going to be okay”,
but I was deafened to what you were trying to say.
You wanted my presence
and a space to embrace those tender parts of you,
but I filled the silence with meaningless words
such as ‘be positive’ and ‘others are worse off’,
no wonder you shut off completely.
You wanted to cry, scream and fall apart,
but I wouldn’t let you for I was afraid
of feeling my own shadow in your pain.
You just wanted to feel not okay,
for once in your god damn life.
To express your anger and grief,
without being told it is wrong
and brainwashed from a child you must be strong.
That you should stuff it down like food, quickly,
so no-one knows,
you are a human who hurts and bleeds.
You see,
you didn’t need me to say anything,
you didn’t need me to fix you,
you didn’t even need my opinion,
you just needed me to meet you, here and now,
in this moment of overwhelming heartache.
For me to say, ‘it is okay to feel this way,
honour, embrace this tender place’.
That’s all you needed from me,
just my presence, my simple being.
So you could breathe fully
into arms that were wide open.

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