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  • Writer's pictureCeleste Boudreaux

Beginnings, Part 1

For Celeste


I see you, though you try to hide

Blending into the wall

Daughter of a defective mother

(Whose empty eyes betray her lipstick toothed smile)

You lurk in the corner, timid and sad and skinny

Child of a deceptive poverty

Cinderella's colorless little sister

Dwelling in the big house, eating ashes

Bearing in silence your public shame and private anguish

Called to be the strong one, the good one

Who needs nothing, demands nothing, receives nothing

Mother's caretaker during her final years

Of agonizing unraveling


Forgive those who looked away in discomfort

Who did nothing, who made no inquiries

Waited until after the final, successful disaster

To offer any help


For I see you

And I'm telling you

I see a brave and resilient child

Not needless, but worthy of compassion

Not invisible, but beautiful with color and texture

Not deserted, but secretly upheld

Not unscarred, but admirably capable of growth


Sweet girl

Unfold a little

Relax, smile, be silly

Receive my love

Accept these tender tears

You will not slide into the abyss

Because I will hold you tight


by Celeste Boudreaux

Poem and younger self portrait drawing both done in November 2012



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