Safe to feel

Smaller than a big girl.
A small girl. Little.
Was I ever? I was, the pictures
tell me so, a little face
smiling, smiling, smiling.
Was it safe? Never, no,
a few safe islands in an
unsafe sea, but mostly
smile, smile, smile, face
the world full on and
forget how shaky it is.
Find the places that feel safe.
On top of the wardrobe,
with a blanket and book.
On the wooden slats of the
airing cupboard, the door
open a crack,and the heat
rising up through the slats.
Riding my bike to the moon
and back. And now, and now,
the safety nets, which were
never nets, the safety illusions,
slip down, slip away, as lightly
as a morning knife through
butter left out on the counter
overnight. And every step
feels shaky, every opening
a door, every opening my eyes,
and an unsafe heart at the
heart of the matter. All around
things shake, as I sit quietly
at night in the peace of the house,
black cherry candle burning bright,
sleeping dog curled on the floor,
and my heart feels shaky, shaky,
as if feeling the shaking of the world
for the first time. As if it's safe
to feel unsafe.