Friday, August 12, 2016

The Little Girl

Eisha Sarkar
International Writing Program 2016, The University of Iowa, USA

A little girl of ten
With pretty brown eyes
In a field of flowers
That smell so nice!

Sounds of laughter
Fill the spring air
The little girl of ten
Has wind in her hair.

At the edge of the farm
In a small mud-hut
The little girl of ten
Sits with her mother.

A brand new dress
All red and shiny
The little girl all made-up
Oh, she looks so pretty!

Then her mother
Takes her to a chamber
A strange old man
Sits beside her.

She watches her father
Ready to bless her
The strange old man
Holds her hand.

On a bed of flowers
In a house not her own
The little girl of ten
Sits all alone.

Then comes the stranger
As old as her father
The little girl of ten
Cries for her mother.

Her vacant eyes
Her hidden bruises
A little girl of ten,
And her lost innocence.

Child marriage is unfortunately common in large parts of the developing world from Africa to Latin America, from the Middle East, South and Central Asia to Oceania. Girls in their pre-teens are often betrothed to men decades older to them. What follows the wedding is an end to their education, the loss of childhood and a life of abuse.

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