Pamela Butler

Ballad Of A Simple Girl - Poem by Pamela Butler

A simple girl of seventeen,
With sunlight in her hair
She skipped and dreamed about a man
She'd met down at the Fair.

The sun was hot that summer day
The glare was in her eyes
She walked into a hidden place
Where kudzu sheltered skies.

He was a man, who'd looked at her,
Who'd worked to make her smile.
And on that hot and sultry day,
She had no sense of guile.

She'd meant only to sit with him
A kiss was all she'd known.
But his lips were hard and wanting things
And no kindness to her he'd shown.

He said goodbye in the dappled light
And left her all alone
To find a way to get through that night,
As the wild moon led her home.

The sorrow trembled at her gate,
The changes made her moan.
But tight she clenched her growing waist
And bore the pain alone.

Her mother scowled and stared at her,
'Girl, what's wrong with your? '
You need to pray away your tears
Or work until you do.

We've plenty of floors for you to scrub,
So the devil won't steal your mind.'
But never she paused to speak with love
And the clock began to chime.

The child inside her body grew
Though she clenched her girdle tight.
And she suffered the agony of what she did
But her fear kept her secret plight.

Until the day she could hide no more
and the reckoning was nigh.
And the child was born a dreadful thing
and she waited herself to die.

The nurses turned a hateful eye
Her mother spoke no sound.
And the handsome man who lay with her
Was nowhere to be found.

She died at last in pain and shame
Her child was locked away.
And the southern sun kept beating down
Like on that fateful day.

They gossiped high, they whispered low
And evil, she was made to be.
But never once did they think to ask
From what she had sought to flee.

From judgments, harsh and searing looks
From pious Pharisees.
She fled from these barbaric rites
And damning prophesies.

And those on high forgot the words
The Savior spoke to all.
'Let those without sin cast the first stone'
Lest Evil choose to call.

A simple girl rests in her grave
Her story now is told.
And after more than eighty years
The book can now be closed.

Poet's Notes about The Poem

When I was a child, this story was whispered to me by my mother, who felt a wrong had been done. I wanted to write about it in a novel or short story, but it finally emerged in this ballad. Here is a fictionalized view, but the essence is I believe the same.

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, August 19, 2012

Poem Edited: Sunday, August 19, 2012

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