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such a sensitive little girl, they say
the most innocuous comment
can bruise her precious little soul

you must be careful with your words

such an unhappy little girl, they say
and they are right
she herself doesn’t understand the ache she feels
this pain of loss
when she hasn’t even lost anything yet


older now but still so troubled
she laughs when you silly-dance to ali farka toure
and wells up with tears when the dancing stops

she lies face down on the cold tile floor.
you’ve learned not to ask
for she can not explain
instead, you step over her to get to the kitchen
she will get up when she is ready

nights like this, long ago
you might have expected blood and threats
but she is quiet now; retreating within
she does this for you, out of love for you
she never expected you to carry the weight
and is relieved now that you have relinquished it

such a sensitive girl
like a wild bird caught in the house
she doesn’t know how she got here
but she has to get out
and will kill herself trying

when you feel you’re losing her,
at the worst of times
you give her a pen and a stack of blank paper
and then you leave her alone
for it won’t be long ‘til she comes back to you

this wounded little girl
with her big heart and heavy burden

she will crawl all over you
she will creep into the crooks and curves of your body
she will settle wherever you are lacking
(her dark mysterious eyes twinkling mischief)

the return is always worth the trouble
for now

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