Reflections of a Child (Tribute to Zara)
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I dedicate this to Zara Malani-lin Abdur. I hope she returns safe; however, if they find her near the Driscoll Bridge--she still won't be there.
I was working in a Paterson, NJ school in 2000, when I heard this news:
"Police found the body of a 16-month-old boy in the Passaic River yesterday, 21/2 miles from the spot authorities say his mother threw him in the water when she couldn't find a babysitter." (Phila.com)
This is an awful replay.
Like most of you, with children in your life one way or another, when I hear of tragic news related to children I immediately think of my daughter. I wrote this for her in 1985 on her 2nd birthday--while reflecting on the memory of being at her birth.
Numb and cold still motionless. You reach out quick, I almost miss. Mirrorless I see myself.
A frightened man who seldom speaks--and hears when can. Eyes opened wide from the very start.
To touch my soul, and melt my heart. Breath taken way, sure not to fall. Stood looking back, a man in awe. My Father knows, my life of sin. What others have taken, now this one begins.
Here she lies so quiet and still. She'll quickly grow, into lace and frill. Yet...what wrongs you do,
so soon forgotten. Especially, the things so rotten. Your tantrumed-ways, with harshly said "No's!" My anger will dissipate, from where it grows. I love you so my child, my life. So precious few, will know our strife. A moment's time is all I need. To admire the flower, from whence the seed.
In the She (Trail of Tears) photo essay.
Also by JamesHarmon McQuilkin
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