The Inner Child
There is a two-year-old girl
trapped inside a twenty-something woman.
She wants to abort the young one
but it’s not a baby anymore. It’s nothing but trouble.
The young one deliberately falls asleep
on long bus journeys to avoid scary things like job interviews,
sleeps through anything boring or unpleasant,
wants to end up in new, exciting places.
The twenty-something needs a career
but can’t leave the young one in daycare.
It’s trapped inside.
The young one bursts into uncontrollable tears
whenever the twenty-something tries to have a mature
argument with her boyfriend. The young one wants to
eat lots of sweets and take a nap when the twenty-something
needs to get some work done.
The twenty-something wants to get on with her life
but the young one cries every night, keeps her awake.
They end up screaming at each other at three a.m.
and finally the older one (who should know better)
downs a small bottle of vodka hoping to kill the child.
It’s the twenty-something who passes out
and the child, even more afraid and alone than before,
has to take control.
Then there are days when the twenty-something awakes
to find the two-year-old still sleeping and chooses
not to wake the young one up but cuddles up beside her
so they can both be safe from the world for a little while
and at perfect peace with each other.