Confident little Rosie
Dressed in sparkly shades of pink
Sailed happily into my office
Sipping on a purple drink.
Her hair in fifteen braids
Her eyes were big and green
Her smile as wide as a sideways moon
Dimples deeper than I’ve seen.
And as I chatted with her mom
In serious adult tones
Rosie displayed her creative side
With markers I had loaned.
She drew circles, lines and zigzags
And then a picture of herself
She folded them up in letters
And placed them on the shelf.
The happy pictures that she drew
Revealed nothing from real life
That her mom described emotionally
Details of violent family strife.
Yelling, hitting and accusations
Were the family norm
Until the day dad crossed the line
Creating a furious storm.
Black eyes of defeat……..
It woke her mom who had to act
To protect her children from more harm
They fled to a transition house
A place that’s safe and warm.
They started to heal and plan a life
Cocooned from harms way.
And throughout the constant upheaval
Rosie smiled throughout the day.
It was her job…………
Our conversation carried on
Her mom in need of care
Their lives are filled with turmoil
Under a continuous vicious glare
And when the talk grew to serious
Rosie lunged for the bright spotlight
Displaying resilient showmanship
Smiling with all her might.
Rosie’s only “free and a half”
But she’s got important work to do
She’s decided it’s been left to her
To shield her mom from the blues
So, she dances, talks and acts upbeat
Our attention she demands
By drawing purple polka dots
On her chubby arms and hands.
The absurdity of the momentIs not lost on Mom nor I
We stop and laugh at this little clown
Whose got a twinkle in her eye.
Adult conversation then led to distant hope
Of future dreams ahead
A calming equilibrium
Desired by all who still feel dread.
The adult talk began to cease
Time to venture out to the street
Rosie finished her last masterpiece
That she wanted me to keep.
I thanked her and asked for a hug
She exuberantly complied
I told her I wanted to take her home
She stopped me in my stride.
A serious look crept on her face
As she snuggled on my lap
It was up to her to shield her mom
From more cruel mishaps
My mom needs me, she said
I have to go home with her
To look after her when she cries
And keep away the monster.
Toddler responsibilities……it’s her job.
When they are home alone at night
Violent demons start to prey
This family snuggles in one bed
Seeking safety ‘til the light of day
Soon one day they will gain the strength
To move forward without the fear
Sadly they’ll carry their wounds and scars
Underneath their brave veneer.
No one will ever know………
Written after an inspirational counselling session with a little girl and her mother last week