Others' Sighs

Pamela describes a healing experienced when she reconciled being molested as a little child. "When I wrote about it, I expressed it in terms of giving up being the protected "little lady" in the John Wayne movies and having to become the Duke, himself."

The Day I Became John Wayne

Before I became John Wayne
I skipped down the road
That wound through the fields
That connected my world
With my best friend's house.

Before I became John Wayne
I lingered in bubble baths
Sang out the window
At sunrise and birdsong
That spoke to my heart.

Before I became John Wayne
I followed my brother
As tag-along sister
On endless adventures
That lasted all day.

Before I became John Wayne
I knew that the earth
Was a wonderful place
With beauty and comfort
That kept me quite safe.

Then I became John Wayne
Filled with bravado
That folks thought was courage
(You know, to be brave
That you have to know fear.)

After I became John Wayne
Sunset was a frightening time
Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!
Running, heart pounding
To hide safe inside.

John Wayne in a shirt-waist dress
Saddle up those saddle shoes
Let's go to school
With a knot in your stomach
That won't go away.
Did you know that John Wayne
Wasn't sure of herself?
That she questioned each thought
Was it right? Was it wrong?
Because nothing was ever the same.

John Wayne was the smartest
John Wayne was the fastest
John Wayne hit the softball
Right over the fence!
And never felt quite good enough.

John Wayne found it awkward
To just be a girl
How strange, since his given name
Really was "Marion"
Maybe he knew how I felt.

One day John Wayne
Took a glance at the mirror
And found he'd grown lovely
And really quite pretty
And everyone said it was true.

That day, John Wayne
Rode off toward the sunset,
The sunset that lives
In the part of my heart
With the scar.

Tall in the saddle
(Though she's only seven)
John Wayne knows the truth
That the world is not safe
And reminds if I should forget.

Come over here, Cowboy,
Let's watch the sunset
Maybe this time
We can watch it go down
And sleep and awake without fear.

copyright 2008, Pamela Stead Jones

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