Christmas Eve Rant

Little barefoot girl with matted hair,

Blue eyes wide with questions,

I saw you standing there,

Just looking

And only smiling once.


You were made for smiles,

For laughter and giggles and tickles,

Like all girls are.

But your big blue eyes never laughed.

They’ve seen more than I ever have.


How you cowed when your mom scolded you,

And I don’t apologize for scolding her in turn.

She said you’re a nuisance. I said you’re precious.

You hadn’t even asked for a sweetie like all children do.

You just stood there.


If your mother says one ugly word to you again in my hearing,

I’ll defy her again. And I’ll sweep

You into my arms and hold you tight

And dream big for you.

I want to rub your frigid feet

And brush your stringy hair.

I’d get you a fuzzy shirt with pink and purple stripes

To warm you

And cover your scars.


I dream that you’ll come home with me.

I want to see those gorgeous eyes laugh!

I’d put little wellies on you and hold your hand

And let you gather warm eggs from our hens.

Inside again, I’d hold you and read stories–

Pooh, and The Nutcracker.




Your mom makes me too angry for words.

Tears squeeze out and blur my

Happy shop-keeper personae.

I want to scream and throw things

And hurt her worse than she hurt her girl.

She doesn’t deserve you. She deserves

To go barefoot on Christmas Eve like you.



She’s gone. You’re gone. To Wales, your sister said.

Anger on your behalf won’t help you

And only depresses me.

I can only cry and hope and pray

That you’ll find shoes on Christmas Day,

And loads of sweeties because you’ve been so good.

I dream for you big cuddly hugs

From someone who loves you,

And the shrieks of fun and giggles

That all girls want.


I hope the anger never goes away completely.

I hope I’ll always fight for the sad little people I meet.

Old beyond your years,

Haunted by grisly fears,

You have one safe place to run to.


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