In Stillness

by Shaun Terry

In stillness lies a child
His heart beats softly and swiftly
His breaths that melt mounds of fresh, brilliant snow
His limbs that move swiftly, surely, with intention
He has purpose and he is whole
He is loved and he does love
He hears not criticism or insult
They are but whispers in a cold, dark forest
He sees pain in bitter faces, and he cries
He hears pleas in shouts of anger, and he serves
He absorbs strikes upon his flesh, and he opens his arms to embrace


In stillness rises a warrior
His heart beats softly, crisply
His dirt-covered flesh spotted with wounds
The smell of blood emanates from hero and enemy
The warrior’s eyes that could capture an ant on a mountain
The strength of a thousand ancestors, forged by discipline and will
Focus and determination for the cruelest winter
Emotionless precision and technique
Respect for wishful adversaries
No expectations, no indulgence
Cold, ever cold


In stillness sits a loving mother
Her heart beats softly, profoundly for all whom she cares for
Her voice of honey and rosewater
Her gentle smile as dawn breaks
She serves because she must, her eternal caring compels her
She is connected to every sound
Her home cradles all who enter
She is ever divided
She knows every feeling in her home
Every moment spent to satisfy so many, but rarely complete fulfillment
An embrace of such gravity and tenderness
A tired woman, a happy woman