Madison Ross

Small child, eyes wide

Her mother wipes her tears and gives a sigh

Kisses her forehead and says

“Guard your heart darling,

The world isn’t built for you”


The child leaves for school

Struggles with manners and with rules

Her mother again sighs

“Darling, darling,

This world you must abide”


The girl grows

Day in, day out, sunshine and snow

She learns to hold back her cries

To change for their sighs

She learns their manners and rules

No longer in the woods after school

“Darling, darling” her mother says

“You’ve always been good”


The girl begins to find

Things she can do with only her mind

Colors and numbers and poetry mix

She builds model towers with sticks

“Oh my darling,

You are so smart”

So they whisk her indoors

To educate and mold her

A child she is no more


She learns to survive

Her tears, she herself dries

She’s learned manners and rules

She’s learned how to do school

She’s grown now, sophisticated

Nothing like that child outdated


She finds herself with a young girl

She, too, whisked indoors to learn

She, too, learning to mold herself

To the sounds of others’ sighs

The older reaches out with pens and crayons

Takes the younger by the hand
“Darling, darling

How I wish things were different”

A story recounted

The younger looks up at her

A congruence of memory

“But they are”

A sad smile

“They will be”