Baby Blues

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The baby of the family with bright blue eyes.
Unplanned like the nine that came before.
All girls. No boys in the brood.
Late in life child.
Born nine days late.
Running late ever since.
She marches to the beat of a different drum.
More like a dance to a tune they’ve never heard before.

The baby of the family looked most like dad.
Momma’s name was saved for the last.
Somehow– as if they knew.
Last one out close the door.
Lead in her bottom. Lead in her feet.
Bigger than the rest and more bold too.

Sweet blue eyes. Bright blonde hair. Fair skin.
An angel by outward appearance but a spitfire inside.
Was she born scrappy?
The product of her environment.
Competitive. Antagonistic.
Unstructured. Out of control.
Coping as best she could.

Just girls in this home. What is a boy except for a dad?
Young men buzz outside the house.
Bees to the hive. Flies on stink.
Dad picked his battles, picked his favorites.
Momma picked up the pieces, never at rest.
Parenting on auto-pilot.
Kids raise themselves. Raise one another.
It takes a village.
Small town life. Nothing to fear.

Off to college. Off to school.
Baby sits by the TV.
Captain Kangaroo. Sesame Street.
Leftovers. Burnt toast no one else would eat.
Dunk it in her coffee.
Momma says it’ll stunt her growth
Then looks the other way.
So many tasks to fill her day.
Baby girl plays alone.
Imagination is her best friend.

A new family moves in next door. City folks.
Much bigger than the family before.
Both mommas busy all day long.
Neither one has time to play.

Small town. Nothing to fear.
In a quiet moment.
Innocence lost to the boy next door.
Show me yours. I’ll show you mine.
Momma is angry but doesn’t say a word.
To the sweet baby girl with bright blue eyes.
Get your little pecker home!
Then, she cries.
Even so…
Not a word is spoken to the baby girl.
Curiosity joins imagination
Her new best friends.

Another day. Same routine.
Busy mommas with kids at school.
No time to read.
No time to play.
Turn off the TV.
Get some sunshine and fresh air.
Too many tasks to have time to care.
Just three years old. A victim again.
Same little pecker. Same angry mom.
Speechless. Not a word is spoken.
Except around town.

A child with an imagination but without a voice.
Her vision tainted before she can live.
Before she can tell time it slips away.
Before she knows much more than her name.
Before she knows how to read or write.
Her story is written before she knows
How to get, how to get to Sesame Street.

Small town life. Everyone knows.
Not a word was spoken to the girl with bright blonde hair.
No one looked into her big blue eyes and said
It’s not your fault. You’re not a bad seed.
You’re not a toy or a thing to be gotten.
Not a hug. Not a word.
Just whispers spoken behind her back.

Time marches on. Blue eyes fade.
Locks darken. Braids of dirty blonde hair.
Untamed.
Fair skin exposed. Again and again.
She becomes a peculiar child.
It never seems to end.
Bees to the hive. Flies on stink.
Curiosity and imagination remain her friends.
Friends that take her places.
Places little girls should not go.

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