The Girl Child

Posted on August 10, 2006


A child at her hip,
Beads of sweat at her temples,
The vacant eyes,
The parted lips,
The cowed gait,
The unsure steps,
She walked into a room full of boisterous children.

She stood for a moment,
As if drinking the scene,
Her presence unnoticed
As she let the infant slide down her tender limb,
She joined the circle…
From an outsider, she became belonged.

Her eyes sparkled, Her cheeks flushed,
Her grin: ear-to-ear.
There was purpose in her stride,
Her shoulders straightened,
Her chin upright and proud…
She was a girl child!

Suddenly a wail shattered the happy noise,
Pin drop silence and the wail reached a crescendo!
For a moment, I saw dismay flicker in her eyes,
She was unsure about what to do, what she wanted to do,
What she ought to do.

And then slowly, I saw her approach…
She picked up the screaming infant,
Planted him upon her hip (where he belonged?)
And out she walked… The girl child…

The “others” went back to their play
She half-turned to see the circle close behind her,
And she walked,
Her cowed gait,
Her silent step… The girl child!!!

–henri (September 12th 2005)
For all the girl children I love and adore so much…

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