there are many ways to it
that safe spot in the yard
the oak, thicker than my mother’s waist
touching it means game over
before another round
and I have been it,
circling and chasing prey
that laughs

but no one’s playing today

waiting for the school bus
this morning
my son says
we have cameras, you know
and locks
and that textbook mom
I am supposed to be says yes,
he has those, his teachers
and police to keep him safe
when he can’t have me,
and I have to speak it
from the toes up
because although he believes in Santa
and the tooth fairy he knows a lie
smoothed over with a hug
and a brush of a kiss
on the forehead before his friends see
and he’s on the bus
after one last shrug under the backpack

leaving me with the tree,
and I touch wood
and knock it too, lightly
to make sure that particular god
is paying attention
to the prayer hissed silent
through my teeth
as I smile and wave goodbye

About Susan L Daniels

I am a firm believer that politics are personal, that faith is expressed through action, and that life is something that must be loved and lived authentically--or why bother with any of it?
This entry was posted in New Free Verse and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to safe

  1. boomiebol says:

    I feel this absolutely!!!

  2. nelle says:


    Thinking on this further, not even in the days of the Cuban Missile Crisis and the practised kneeling with hands locked over heads did I worry over safety the way it impacts me today.

    • I know exactly what you mean, Nelle. Me neither. Time to just admit, finally, that no one is safe, anywhere, and then simply try our damnedest to love and protect those dear to us as best we can.

      • nelle says:

        Where good with the love, but we allow other interests to cloud our judgement over the safety element. We create an unlimited reach of the right to own guns, but we turn around and restrict the doings of our bodies and we ignore the health needs of many in favour of profit. We don’t ask anyone to cede everything, we ask that we all do our part to make this society one protective and nurturing of everyone. It can’t be too much to ask.

  3. unfetteredbs says:


  4. BroadBlogs says:

    So sad and poignant.

    I saw a quote that said something to the effect of, “One failed attempt by a shoe-bomber and we all must remove our shoes. Hundreds of massacres, and we do nothing.”

  5. My thoughts and prayers go out to the families and victims of connecticut. 😦 I feel this poem.

  6. That particular god is listening, Susan. 🙂

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