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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Ow! (01/07/10)

TITLE: Sun-kissed Curls
By Debbie Roome


They moved next door to me, these parents and their child,
A girl with sun-kissed curls and temperament so mild.
I smiled a quick hello, the day that we first met,
The mother’s name was Sue, the father’s name was Jet.

I heard the cries that night, a toddler screaming, “Ow!”
And adult voices raised, an angry raucous row.
I couldn’t help but listen, with walls of meager wood,
But turned away and shrugged, to intefere’s not good.

I saw the child that week, her arm a purpled blue,
“My goodness!” came my words, “Whatever did you do?”
The mother’s smile was tight, as lies fell from her lips,
“Kate’s a clumsy girl, she often falls and trips.”

I nodded knowing my place, the child was theirs not mine,
I had no concrete proof, I could not cross that line.
And yet the cries continued, “Ow,” and “Stop it please.”
Her little voice was shrill, it brought me to my knees.

“Protect her, Lord,” I cried, “And take away her pain.
What kind of parents do that, what do they hope to gain?”
But heaven’s gates were silent, the noise was all next door,
“Ow, ow, you’re hurting me, you’ve made my tummy sore.”

I should have called the cops, a friend or someone strong,
To help me in my weakness, before things went so wrong.
“Ow!” she screamed again, her voice a fading cry,
I should have gone to help, but knew I shouldn’t pry.

Her grave was kissed with sunshine, as people stopped to pray,
The rays were straight from heaven, and I heard the Father say,
“The child is with me now, from pain and grief she’s free.”
I hung my head in shame, it was all because of me.

But God is kind and gracious, His mercy’s always new,
His love and patience changed me, my confidence just grew.
So now I work with children, the ones that call out, “Ow!”
The ones with broken homes, and furrows on their brow.

And somewhere up in heaven, there lives a little child,
A girl with sun-kissed curls and temperament so mild.
I know that I’m forgiven, her heart is full of grace,
I’ll get to meet her one day, as we join in God’s embrace.

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This article has been read 926 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Leah Nichols 01/14/10
Very poignant. A good reminder of our responsibilities to help the helpless.
Mona Purvis01/14/10
This is so very good. You took something quirky and treated it with maturity and it worked.
I also appreciate the message given in this heart-wrenching poetic tale.
I learned this lesson in the past few months. I suspected, but couldn't know for sure...now I know.

Joan Campbell01/15/10
Powerful & thought-provoking.
PamFord Davis 01/15/10
Like a catchy tune, but such a sad story...
Glynis Becker01/16/10
Such a heartbreaker. You've told the story with a painful beauty. Well done.
Dee Yoder 01/17/10
This makes me cry--so sad. I hate to see this kind of abuse happening to children. Oh, what a reminder to be the adult and step in to help the helpless!
Yvonne Blake 01/18/10
Ahh...this is so sad! Thanks for reminding NOT to mind our own business, but to make the welfare of all children our business.
Catrina Bradley 01/18/10
I have goosebumps. A double "OW" - the little girl and the one who didn't want to interfere.
Colin Swann01/19/10
A tear jerky in rhyme. This is wonderful writing. Thanks - Colin
Lisa Johnson01/21/10
Such a sweet and sad story... but such an encouraging message of grace and forgiveness. Congratulations on yuor high placement for your level and in the Editor's Choice!!!
Carol Penhorwood 01/21/10
Congratulations on placing 3rd! So well deserved! A heart breaking story of love and forgiveness and one whose story will touch many lives and change them for good! Thank you!
Dianne Janak01/21/10
Debbie, this was superb! and so true and so sad. Anyone that grew up in a home like this can feel this poem... and even when the "ows" are verbal hits, it's just as horrific! Great writing. Congrats~
Debra Elliott01/21/10
Such a constant reminder...
Amy Michelle Wiley 02/26/10
Touching poem. Sometimes it's so hard to know if there really is abuse going on--may we all be attentive. You had quite a few punctuation errors, but I liked the flow of the poem. Good job!