I could have never known
it was a flame burning
in that child’s heart;
it seemed nothing more
than a gentle sort of knowing,
as natural as all the
violent chaos surrounding it
and impossible to make out
as a thing on its own,
rather than another broken
offshoot, perhaps even several
generations down and twice removed
(we seek complexity).
But then it showed itself plain
for what it was and, having spent
years swaying in the storms
and secretly liking it that way,
gathering up even more knowing,
found its elbow room,
yawning, stretching its arms long,
and parted the waters.

The title is from Sara Teasdale, who often uses the image of bending to indicate strength (‘like barley bending’). That metaphor is counter to how we typically describe strength, and just wonderful.