Friday, November 06, 2009

Little Rosie red shoes.....

Confident little Rosie
Her shoes a snappy red
Sailed happily into my office
With fifteen braids upon her head.
As she slurped and sipped her purple drink
Her eyes were big and green
Her smile as wide as a sideways moon
Dimples deeper than I’ve ever seen.

Charming poise…………

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.

“For mailing!”

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 were filled with turmoil
Under a continuous vicious glare
And when the talk grew too serious
Rosie lunged for the bright spotlight
Displaying resilient showmanship
Smiling with all her might.

Buoyant determination….

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.

Performing Arts……….

The absurdity of the moment
Was not lost on Mom nor I
We stopped and laughed 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.

Toddler optimism…….

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.

Enthusiastic embrace……….

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………

This is the third "red" installment..... Rosie red...... for Carmi's photo theme this week.

I chose to republish this poem which I wrote after I met this resilient little girl and her mother a few years back. They had just finally escaped a seriously violent situation and were re-claiming peace and tranquility in their lives. Sadly, I don't think Rosie had ever known any other kind of life until then. Though I never saw this little one again, she remains in my heart. I often think of her and send good peaceful thoughts up into the air in hopes that they find her.

November is Family Violence Awareness month in New Brunswick. It still remains a silent killer inside the homes of many who live on our street, around the corner, across town..... inside the homes of human beings we may even work beside day in and out. Awareness is the key to eradicating abuse. No one has the right to abuse another human being. NO ONE.


Marja said...

An absolutely fantastic poem of hope and resilence. I've got a warm spot for little Rosie Hope she gets a great future

TheChicGeek said...

Beautiful post! Thank you so much for bringing awareness to this critical issue. Your poem cuts right to the heart of domestic violence...Absolutely beautiful. How wonderful for your life to be touched by this brave woman and child. I, too, will send my love and prayers out into the universe right this very minute. I hope they feel the soft breath of angels whispering upon them and surrounding them with protection, love and healing to their hearts.

Have a Wonderful Weekend!
Hugs :))))

Anonymous said...


You said it so well


OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

You told this story so eloquently, Dana..Using the form of poetry gave it a certain lightness that I'm sure wasn't really there---except in that little childs eyes and behavior.
It is HAUNTING to think that she knew that her role had to be as "protector" and was already acting as the Adult-Grown-Up at only three years old. How many thousands of children have to be this grown-up at such an early age, or they know they won't survive? Haunting and Heartbreaking.

Awareness said...

Marja.....I hope so too. Thanks.

Kelly... I have met many women and children who have suffered and survived the evil of domestic violence through my work. They have all touched me and helped me understand a life situation I am thankfully not personally experiencing. Touched me with their strength, resilience and also with their pain. Those wounds are lifelong. It is a hard hard road to healing and wholeness again. And it makes me so damn angry.

Mavis...thank you. This was the first poem I had posted on this blog and the first one I had written in 20 years. It flowed out of me over the course of a day, the day after I had met Rosie and her Mom.

Naomi...thank you. That was exactly what I was trying to do. It burned me so to see this little carry the burden of her mother. She was way, way, way too young to have to be the one who looks after people! I can only hope she has continued with such strength and resilience, and hasn't suffered too much trauma so that it seeps out now that she's older.

Gypsy said...

What a delightful little girl, painted here with your wondrous words. Our little ones take in much more than we know don't they and this little angel called Rosie is obviously more astute than most.

Brilliant poem Dana in which you gave this little girl wings.