mostly they save themselves (on children, crises, and fumbling adults)

prologue

she is
more woman
in her four foot
three inch frame
than most will
ever be steady hand
runs through unwashed hair
dark blue eyes set
she grabs her sister
firmly and walks
unknowingly into tomorrow.

i.

he is drunk
when they find him
crying on curb
head in hands
wherearemybabies
inaudible he mutters
over and over
again and again
wherearemybabies?

ii.

going back
always the directive
this a negotiation
her eyes are steel
he is humbled
drinking is not an option
she does not mumble
he nods and she
signals the little one
who runs finally into
daddy’s arms.

iii.

there are dolls
it is both
introduction and
question with
arduous hesitation
we begin to excavate
the girl within
something like a
smile shadows
her lips

epilogue

he does not
keep his promise
each transgression
noted expertly in
dainty hello kitty
journal dated and timed
complicated coding
there are dots
green for forgiveness
red “to forget”
and
purple
sparingly used
reminds her
there is a girl
still within

#OctPoWriMo Day 11
#OctPoWriMo Day 11

 

Sidebar: I have had the pleasure of working with children for two decades. I am always amazed by their resilience. Always. In knowing that children are infinitely resilient, I am also always amazed at how adults fumble and fail in their efforts to ‘save’ them. Malala Yousafzai is the example. Children know what is needed, if only we would listen.

About the Poem: This poem is an amalgam, blending the stories of several young girls I have had the opportunity to support in healing relationships with their fathers, who were well-meaning but also negligent. It is not one girl’s story but several (including mine).

3 Comments Add yours

  1. lrconsiderer says:

    Very powerfully written. Makes me wish so much that adults could behave more responsibly when they have children to care for.

    1. Thank you for the read. I was a bit concerned that it might be a little too condescending. Sometimes I get on a soap box and just can’t stop. I appreciate your comment.

      1. lrconsiderer says:

        I do that sometimes. Don’t sweat it 🙂

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