Sunday, 20 October 2013

Nobody knows what Penny-Rose knows*

Nobody knows what Penny-Rose knows.
But everyone knows that Penny-Rose shows
a remarkable knowing as each day she grows,
as her head stretches further away from her toes.
And the grown-ups all tap on the sides of their nose
to say to each other that Penny-Rose knows.

But nobody sees what Penny-Rose sees
when she gazes outside at the sky and the trees.
There she sits, chin on hands, with elbows on knees
and peers through the branches that dance in the breeze.
They’re getting a sense of her growing unease,
but no-one can picture what Penny-Rose sees

And nobody hears what Penny-Rose hears,
or knows why she’s frowning and holding her ears.
They can’t hear the noises that started her fears
or understand what makes her eyes fill with tears.
They marvel at how she seems old for her years,
but nobody hears what Penny-Rose hears.

And nobody thinks to ask Penny-Rose why
she sits there and gazes up into the sky,
and watches the sparrows and pigeons pass by,
and peers at the aeroplane roaring on high.
They don’t think to ask her the cause of her sigh.
So she never tells them.
                                       She knows she can’t fly.

*last weekend I visited my grandchildren. While Eddie always runs to hug his Nana and is happy to sit and read books or play games, Penny-Rose always hangs back. Sometimes when I talk to her, she cries, and often when I look at her, she's just sitting there staring at me. One day, I hope she'll tell me why.


Anonymous said...

This is doubt she will tell you some day.

Mary-Colleen said...

I just love this. She will too, one day. :)

Joe Pereira said...

Beautifully written Sharon :)

Elephant's Child said...

Truly beautiful. Thank you. Perhaps she will find the words and way to express herself, and perhaps she will choose not to. I love the picture you have given us of a mystic child.

Mrs Smith said...

The unspoken fears of children are quite disturbing to us grown ups, aren't they? I don't remember ever being that happy, carefree child of fairy tales and picture books. Maybe she's an introvert and if you sit quietly with her for long enough she'll tell you her story? For me it was always a matter of trust.

Mrs Smith said...

I love this poem. It drew me in.

Nessa Locke said...

Awww, you know she's going to love this poem and she'll laugh at the way you see her.
My youngest grandson used to hang back from me, too, but now he tries to come home with me every time. I'll bet your Penny-Rose comes around soon.