The Little Girl
I met the little girl one night
When all my thoughts were of myself:
A flash of lightning memory, watered with our tears,
And in her thunderous quiet voice she pleads,
“Will you protect me, please?”
Deep in me a small boy stirs;
Ears alert to listen, and he knows.
She cries, “I don’t know what she wants!
I’m good. I’m quiet. I just wait
To hear my father coming home,
And hope with all my love for him
That he will save me from the dark.”
The small boy weeps with mirrored pain –
Hers, the mother; his, the dad.
Quiet now, she stops and stares,
And, in a tone of broken heart,
She sobs, “ But he just will not see!
And all the love I feel for him
Is not enough to clear his sight.”
The small boy asks, his spirit dark,
“What good a family bound by pain?”
She tells of how she sleeps at night
With ears alert for any sound,
And, wakening, she sits alone,
And waits the night for mother’s face.
She knows no one will stop the fright.
The small boy nods, for though he sleeps,
He cowers at wet morning’s light.
She screams and tells one final tale,
Of bindings for no reason known.
“What did I do”, she begs to hear,
“That they should take my arms from me,
And leave me all alone to cry?”
The small boy weeps to feel her bonds;
Though his are words, they hold as tight
She grows, this wondrous little girl,
And manages somehow to smile
Through all the things they do to her.
She knows that if she’s strong enough,
Someday someone will shelter her.
The small boy grows, but does not dream,
And is not strong, and cannot care.
A lady comes to save the girl.
Full grown and strong and beautiful,
She keeps the child within her heart,
And brings her toys, and plays with her,
And lets her know that she is loved.
And when the little girl cries out
“Protect me, please” – the lady does.
And, seeing this, the small boy stays.
Alone, afraid – but with new hope.