Be undemanding and forever helpful
and let silence mark your presence.
Cling to life’s darkest shadows,
a small part of your penance.
Cast your gaze downward, young dear,
yet always display a smile.
Show not that you’re living in fear
and do your best not to rile.
Always be the best you can be,
though you know that’s never enough,
for showing weakness, you see,
provokes those who want you tough.
Monitor each mood for changes
every minute and then renew.
Subtly deflect all anger
without the anger focusing on you.
Provide gentle reassurance
as you often wish was given,
easing the unstable ego
before it sparks explosions.
Do all these things and do them well
to survive but another hour.
Do all these things without fail
and dream of never having to cower.
©January 2015, May 2020 Christina Anne Hawthorne