Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Pearl

We sat and talked as we waited. A strong, self-assured woman always in control seemed a little less in control with the holidays knocking at the door. As often happens, I sat quietly waiting for the story to unfold.

She began vaguely alluding to the fact that her father is no longer part of her life. Anger infiltrated her voice as she told bits and pieces of her story. I knew the parts she didn’t say. I had heard similar stories from students at the high school. I had known such stories from my youth. Estrangement from a man who took something away from this once child. A scar so deep that even time could not erase the pain and anger.

“You know what I’m talking about, don’t you,” she asked. “Yes,” I answered. I took her hand and told her I was sorry. Tears fell from her cheeks as the words poured from her lips. I listened.

I’m posting a piece I wrote many years ago. It was a difficult piece to write and a difficult piece to read. Today I’m posting this for this woman and others who have suffer.

The Pearl

Her name is not important
It is etched upon my mind
The evil that was done to her
Will never stay behind

What happens when a father
Lays his daughter down
Takes the child beyond her years
Takes away her crown

What kind of beast would take his own
Would feed upon his child
The daughter was the mother
Was the sister, was defiled

That she bore his children
And could not flee the den
Was not at all the total sin
That haunts me now and then

For I was but a child
And as with all the rest
We shunned her and we teased her
For the way she smelled and dressed

Were we just too young
Was ignorance the crime
Or was it lack of interest
Or the year, the day, the time

Youth has little knowledge
Of grievous crimes as such
But where were all the parents
Who knew she suffered much

What happened to the neighbors
Who chose to look away
What happened to the teachers
Who saw her every day.

For blind may be the eye
That looks upon the scene
But I will not forget
We children who were mean

I cannot ask forgiveness
Of that silent girl
But I pray that somewhere in her life
The stone became a pearl.

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