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Joined: 3 Feb 2006
Age: 37
Gender: Female
Posts: 10,775
Location: Ohio, USA

15 Feb 2006, 10:50 am

[Sorry about the depressing nature of this piece of poetry. It implies but does not describe sexual abuse--you have been warned.]

Daddy's Little Girl

When Alice is five
her daddy says she is "his little girl"
and does what no daddy should ever do.

Maybe it's drink, or sickness in his head,
or a heart (as they tell you the Grinch had)
that is three sizes too small.

But Alice is his little girl, always his little girl
And a secret shared
with the cruelest of secret-keepers
takes her child's grace.

When Alice is ten
Maria (best friends forever) comes over to play
and the cousins-and-aunts-and-uncles comes to visit
and her mommy makes pumpkin pie for Christmas.

And her daddy (she is his little girl)
drinks all the special egg-nog they won't let Alice have
and does what no daddy should ever do.

And Alice
when it is night
And Daddy is asleep
goes to the kitchen
and eats the pumpkin pie; and the good taste
in her mouth
makes the hole in her heart go away
just for a little while.

When Alice is twelve, she hears
Maria (pretty Maria, with a real silk dress, and a pool in her yard)
inviting Janice-and-Megan-and-Jessie-and-Jen
(friends and followers, like a row of ducklings)
to swim in her pool
and try on real make-up
and eat pop-corn
and talk about boys.

And Alice
doesn't care (or so she says)
and spends the night at home, with a bowl of ice-cream,
and a secret that can never be told
at any slumber-party.

In the house across town, with the pool and the bright lights,
ask each other
"Have you ever kissed a boy?"

And Alice eats more ice-cream, and doesn't answer.

When Alice is sixteen, her daddy (she is his little girl)
takes her to buy clothes. He complains
of how often he has to buy her new ones,
and how quickly she grows out of the old
without growing an inch.

And that night
her daddy does what no daddy should ever do.

(they don't see Alice)
compare girls, and discuss
Who To Take To The Dance
(Moonlight Madness; silly theme, but everyone is still coming)
and Alice hears when they say her name
and laugh (fat slob)
and the barbs (should just exercise) on their words (ugly)
grab her name (never caught dead with her) like barbed-wire.

And Alice
when daddy is fast asleep
takes the keys (quiet, oh, so quiet) to the family car
and goes to the corner store
and spends the night alone
with her secret, and her spent allowance,
and her jumbo-sized brownies.

(Be careful, she thinks; or he will try to put you on a diet again
and you know how that turns out.)

But what they don't know is
The time she helped the outcast boy (nerd)
pick up his books
The time she hid an ugly cat (stray)
from the neighborhood toughs
The way she helps her grandpa (geezer)
rake the leaves and get the newspaper and tie his shoes

Because all they know
Is the outside
Daddy's little girl.

When Alice is eighteen, her daddy
hitches the rental trailer to the car
and makes a six-hour drive
and finds her keys and meal pass and textbooks
and carries the heavy things
and pays the bill, and leaves, but not before
he tells her she is still his little girl.

And they see Alice
(textbooks in hand)
eating her lunch, and say
(fat slob)(should just exercise)(ugly)(never caught dead with her)
nothing to her
and she says nothing to them.

And she thinks
(I don't care)(I don't need them)
about her classes, and keeps her head down.

And Jannice-and-Megan-and-Jessie-and-Jen
(not the same girls, but that doesn't matter)
go to the party

and Alice
spends the night with her secret,
and her ice-cream
and a hole in her heart

And she thinks
(I don't care)(I don't need them)
about her classes, and keeps her heart down.

When they see Alice
they see Daddy's little girl.

What they can't see is
Her gentle fingers on a violin-bow
Her pencil moving on a notebook of stories
Her hands reaching for the sad and the lonely
with holes in their hearts
like hers;

Because all they see
Is the outside
Daddy's little girl.

Reports from a Resident Alien:

Autism Memorial:

Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

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Joined: 11 Feb 2006
Gender: Male
Posts: 26
Location: NSW, Australia

15 Feb 2006, 5:48 pm

This is a very emotive poem! Its very well written, and I can see the feeling in it. Nicely written!