some people say you are just a rabbit
and you do not know
the things that humans know
like hurting hearts
and sadness and tears
but I can see
that you are mourning
your loss is real to you
as real as your empty nestbox
and the straw underneath you
that does not hold your babies
Makes you want to give Jo a hug, doesn't it?
Being a literary sort myself, I have nudged my children to give vent to their more raw emotions in writing ever since they were old enough to phonetically piece together something as eloquent as "Im aingree" (this particular sentence was from Atticus at age 3.5).
From those humble beginnings, I have watched my children express excitement, fear, love, friendship, joy and outrage in their writing. I am always delighted when they reach that level of openness in their work that allows me to see the inner wrestlings of their hearts, and a glimpse into their passions. It is, to me, one of the most tender parts of homeschooling; I have witnessed and helped to shape in my children a love for a form of expression that not only allows them to vent their emotions, but helps them to process them as well.
So, it was not unusual that Jo chose to use her writing time to fit together the things that were rubbing against her heart in the most bruised places. Honestly, I just feel honored that I was able to sit beside her afterwards and ask if she wanted to share what she had written with me. (This is a general rule in our house: free writing is free writing. It is only made public if you wish it to be so.)
I read it once in my head, and then again aloud. And this is what I told my daughter:
Your imagery is beautiful.
Your word choices are clear and set a wonderful tone.
I see some of that ee cummings coming out in you!
I really like the cadence of this poem.
And what I thought in my heart was, "Thank you, God, for the gift of writing. Thank you for a pressure valve for our souls."