To hold who I was
And who I am now
And how the one became the other
My arms are not wide enough
I am overwhelmed
Defeated by my own contradictions

To witness the raw sensitivity
Of a young half-formed woman
While holding that same fragility
Within the layers of experience
Grown tough around me

To know the deep paradoxes
Which perplexed me then
Never did get illumined
But only nudged into a dark corner
To allow a functioning life
Washes me now
With unexpected grief