RIC S. BASTASA


the little girl in the middle of the river


she is looking at us
passing by the river
she has no fear

she is attuned
to her mother's beatings
her father's fists

that little girl in the middle of the river
stares at us
simply passing by on a wooden boat

she does not know what sympathy is
or even pity
she does not know what happens when
finally she jumps from the raft
to the depths of the river

she does not know what death is
where she will go

she does not call for help
even in pain
she does not know what it is to call for help

we never taught her
what sympathy is
what help is

we just left her as she stares at us
and we merely passed by her

Submitted: Saturday, October 11, 2008

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