(A Stir of Fear)
A deep sigh seemed to have done some good.
Looking at her, anticipating, expecting...
Waiting for friends to arrive
In a place unknown to us both....
So lovely in her silence,
While going through a moment of anxiety.
It creates within me, a STIR OF FEAR...
Must I leave her? I must teach her, to be on her own,
Now...now? But how? Oh, how it breaks me...
There she stands, tall, in her black shirt,
Walking shorts, rubber shoes, backpack and
Electric guitar hanging on her shoulders...
Her hair, gathered in a bun at the back....
So naive, simply, effortlessly beautiful.
How do you let go of your eldest,
First granddaughter...soon to be sixteen,
When you are fully aware of the perils
That surround the outside world,
Even in broad daylight?
Aware of her innocence, her beauty, and
The elements that could jeopardize her safety .....
Do I wait for her?
Do I watch her while with her friends?
Let her know, I mistrust everyone around her?
Almost told her I would wait for her outside...
It wasn't mine, it was against everyone's,
But it was her choice that I had to respect.
So, I left her there in her friend's house...
Dark street, dark alley, dark-colored gate,
Dark house, dark garden lights, everything
Was dark to my eyesight that very moment...
There was no peaceful moment, while at home.
The rocking chair at the veranda was a refuge...
My ever-faithful friend, kept me company...
There, I rocked myself, slowly, endlessly,
With the hope of my fears disappearing...
Thinking of what somebody once told me:
"There is nothing to fear, but fear itself..."
It had been a long day, a long night as well...
My bed time...but first, I gratified myself....
Took a glimpse inside the kids' room,
Where my eldest granddaughter,
Too tired to go straight to
Their house next door,
Was sound asleep,
Comfortable and warm
Safe from harm,
Here in my house.
There are questions still running in my mind:
She has her parents, why do I worry so much?
How much longer can I protect her?
How much longer must I shelter her?
How do I deal with my next equally lovely
Granddaughter, also long-haired, tall,
Also with her own guitar and backpack,
When it is her time to go to a friend's house?
Will I still be around when it is time for the
Three younger girls to visit their friends, too?
The ordeal of first times never ends.
Rosalia Rosario A. Bayan