Start close in, / don’t take the second step / or the third,
start with the first / thing/ close in, / the step/ you don’t want to take.
. . . David Whyte

Start here: with that smiling face of your childhood
as you breathed in the fragrance of the Lily of the Valley
your mother had planted in her garden.

Take this one step
toward the wide-eyed song of your youth,
the music you turned from to please others.

Start there, with that vibrant child
running through the landscape as fast as he could,
knowing he was alive

knowing he belonged
to the great breath of wind
he sucked into his lungs

as he ran from the father he never knew,
the brother he couldn’t find,
the mother who could never find him.

He is the ancestor of your spirit,
the one who has waited all these years,
as you climbed all those ladders . . ..

Look! there he is in the mirror
his still small voice reminding you of what
your youngest daughter taught her computer to say

whenever she made a mistake:
“that’s o.k., I love you anyway.”
not the voice of your father,

nor the words of your mother,
but Mikey, right here whispering
what you have only just begun to hear