A Little Bit of Tenderness

Put your head on my lap, child,
and I will hum you a song
my great-grandmother knew the words of,
and my father knew to whistle.
Feel my fingers through your hair, child,
and know –
really, know –
the world is formed of rough stones,
hard bark,
wild things living in unkempt homes,
and the world is formed of us,
of rare softness,
of mild humming,
warm tea, lazy cats,
things that keep us from becoming stone,
and bark,
and wild.

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