Baring Teeth into the Storm

She wanted
to climb a coconut tree under the rain
and I told her it was a stupid idea;

but she bared her teeth
into the storm,
hugged the slippery tree,
and snaked her bony Self
up and up and up…
while my body shook
in dread for me
or exhilaration for her.

“No permanent harm done,” she said
and I didn’t argue—the scrapes would heal;
and I wanted
the two large coconuts she had claimed
(we were seven that summer).

She wanted
to trust the woman one more time
and I told her it was a stupid idea;

but she flashed a smile
into dark clouds,
spread arms bursting with hugs,
and before I could stop the situation,
the woman broke her hugs
and set her dreams on fire.

“It hurts as much as before,” she said
and I embraced her chest
with my broken hugs and scorched dreams.

Our dreams healed… but our hugs still hurt,
whenever someone asks for our trust
under cloudy skies.

NaPoWriMo with Magaly Guerrero 2015, Day 8 – It Hurts, but It Doesn’t Harm: Weave a poem that explores the difference between hurt and harm.

linked to
Poets United Midweek Motif – Enlightenment

Dark Sky, by Koko“Dark Sky”, via Koko-Stock

56 thoughts on “Baring Teeth into the Storm”

  1. aaaw….you made me cry!!!! Hugs should always be warm and snuggly and safe …and anyone who dares to break them should come answer to me!!! XXX

    • Sorry I made you cry, tears should be saved for those wonderfully happy moments when only a good cry and a jig seem proper. Yet, I wouldn’t expect anything more or any less from you: if there is protecting to be done, my Gina will be there… warm arms open for the one in need, broomstick at the ready for the one at fault.

  2. I can understand taking that risk for the exhilaration that comes after. The child’s bravado after the betrayal was the most heartbreaking thing. I suppose it is a good thing she felt it wasn’t deep enough to harm, but it sure seemed like harm to me. I guess her will over what has the power to harm her is something to be admired.

  3. What is the greater risk, damage to one’s life and limb, or one’s heart and soul? Which hurt leaves the most lasting scar? Where is the lesson?

  4. What bravery! We each have that part that would bare teeth into the storm despite our “self.” What harm, the hurting? It is not temporary, but it contains so much truth, it makes our hugs tender. This poem could meet my prompt on enlightenment over at Poets United today, Magaly! Thank you.

    • We all, indeed, have that lioness (or lion) to roar from within us and show teeth when we need it most…

      P.S. Thanks for pointing out that this poem matched your Mid-Week Motif. I suspect the submissions will be soothing jewels. I shall be there to read them soon!

  5. There is a different between hurt and harm – sometimes hurt can be mended but harm cuts deep when inflicted on one by another.

    • …and those cuts, even after healing, continue to find ways to cause pain. It’s a terrible thing; one of the reasons why when entire cultures are harmed, the scars ooze pain throughout generations to follow…

  6. A wonderful vignette. I love the spunk of the brave little girl, and the protectiveness of her friend. And am glad they still have each other for comfort through the big pains of being grown up.

  7. Our dreams healed… but our hugs still hurt,
    whenever we are asked for trust under cloudy skies.

    That line sums it up well…. I love this story!.

    • It was a rather interesting write. It was gloomy outside, a huge oak outside our terrace was whipping its branching, it was raining, too… So the setting was there (a bit colder, but there), the rest just crawled out of my fingertips…

  8. Betrayal, I think, can be both a harm and a hurt. She is brave and as you said, she will heal. Maybe, just not the way we hope. This was so powerful, so evocative ( I could smell the thunder and feel the wet). Thank you for another great gift of words!

  9. Oh. Hugs should never hurt a child. I suppose any learning is enlightenment, but sometimes the learning process is cruel. I’m glad you are honoring the resilience of children in your poem. Very nice.

  10. I like that ‘you’ let ‘her’ to have that experiment despite the result you knew she’ll get. Hopefully, next time she’ll observe her reaction and find the right for her solution….Blessing!

Leave a Comment