I drifted away from her, convinced we’d grown apart.
I ignored her, turned a deaf ear to her voice, shut her out of my everyday life.
I turned my back on her. Denied she existed, and didn’t beckon her from hiding. Allowed her to turn away and pout, not giving her light or time to play.
I ridiculed her preoccupation with words. Told her she was less then she was - not of value, not worth nurturing.
I ridiculed her, scorned her efforts, told her she had nothing to say, shut her up.
I left her on the side of the road, roared away into real life while she kicked pebbles along the shoulder.
Still, she surfaced, dragging a toe in the gravel, forming words with a scrape of her shoe: Here I am.