On the lawn of our immigrant grandmother; also Diane's yard.
Our lives mapped out before us, now that I look back on the stresses
As we both struggled along on our own for years guarding
Ourselves in silent, private thoughts... the little girls who struggled
For different reasons, trying to quietly slip in, fit in and feel safe
As we walked quickly from street to street, more oft
Than not in a slow trot as if it to say catch me if you can.
We were Hudson, we were the streets, we were there
As Diane hesitated with strangers or family, and me with my smile
To welcome them closer... but beneath was the wary
That I always saw in Diane who squirmed away from any hug -
Slipping away like a boxer from a jab.
I think she understood who I was, as I understood her phobia
As she started to wear cotton dresses below her knees,
With an overlay of a protective sweater, and knee socks...
And I let go, switching to jeans and flannels, and in to freedom.