Safe Passage, Not Sidewalk Art

You know that sad girl?
the one that sometimes
stops in to see you?

she says she feels so small
tells you she is irreparably broken
says loneliness is erasing all trace of her

she worries that soon
she will be
just a chalk drawing on the sidewalk

scared to tell you, but
she longs to lay her head in your lap
wants you to love her like your own child

this girl, worn down
from lies, betrayal, theft
leaving her motherless
having lost her oldest child
in a wicked chasm

Why are you embarrassed
to be seen with her?
how can you be so unkind?
in a rush you tell her
how lovely your days are
I believe you characterized
your life as ‘enviable’
good health, good work, good friends
goodness knows how
you yammer on so incessantly
but, please! it’s not material
for a movie of the week
that movie?
already made.

Jimmy Stewart
& bells & angels acquiring wings
so don’t shame this girl
by telling her it’s a wonderful life
she needs you to understand
needs you to love her
she visits infrequently
doesn’t haunt you day & night
makes room for your happier visitors

so i hope you can find a way to be kind
to respect her story, to offer safe passage
she doesn’t ring your bell often
but I’ve noticed her there
standing sometimes on the porch

funny, but I almost took her for you
an uncanny resemblance,
perhaps you can claim her
as a girl you know
as a girl you know quite well

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