Loving the Odd Child
Copyright 2006 Anne Allanketner
The everyday child needs socks and sandwiches
Her hair combed, yes
And time to play, people to love.
The everyday child needs constant care
From you so keep her warm and kindly sheltered, nourished, held.
But it’s caring for the odd one, which makes us
whole again, after long confusions, blundering
and wishing she were normal.
Love that little odd child, and you will flower
in unexpected ways, veering off the path
that others gave you, to carved new and tender
territory in the mysterious, dark wood.
Give that little odd child what she needs:
a softer lamp light, all day at the zoom
Art supplies for breakfast, an early
Exit from the loud party.
Maybe she wants things you think are strange
But just believe in her, let her hold those
tiny tree frogs, let her climb down off your lap
to gather strange objects, her weird collections…
Her need for books, her fear of people
crushing plants, her awkward dislike of
your friends, her terribly low
Gather each of these up in time, and kiss them.
Then put them down in front of her, loved.
This is the new path, taking your away
from normal and towards your SELF.
Towards the life you deeply long for
Towards the odd work, the odd lover, the odd house.
You were afraid that if you gave into her,
There would be no end to it
And that is true
For the odd child is a wild and tempting
shamaness, who given an inch will rise up
dancing and gather you in arms and sing
her throaty off-key melodies as she
winds her way through the wood and steps
Into her odd place in the bright and peopled world.
There she will shift the balance in some small
and significant way that only she can understand
having changed you so completely into yourself
she is unafraid