The Official Writing Challenge
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The "No Touching" signs really broke my heart. It just makes you wonder how that kind of thinking can prevail in some places.

A very sad poem.

Pathetically sad that this is not fiction, but fact. Though the story behind this poem breaks my heart, you did a beautiful job with this piece.
Your words brought tears to my eyes. I worked with a little girl who had suffered this way.
Your feelings and message are powerful. Thank you.
Your rhyme and rhythm was right on and your words which I have heard are very true were heart-breaking. A sobering entry.
Devastatingly beautiful...
Wow! That was really good. Thank you for writing about such an important subject.
What a heartbreakingly beautiful poem! This arises such feelings of sympathy for these little ones, along with ire that people could be so heartless toward them. You presented a dismal situation with your excellently worded poem.
Oh this is absolutely heart- breaking, made all the worse because it is true. A most incredible poem - wonderfully written.
You know your work is good when writers comment with passion about the content more than the structure. This is just such a piece. What a job you have done, so on topic and so relative.
The writing is brilliant. A+ and EC deserving.

Wow! This is so sad. I think it's even sadder that I am so naive. I can't even begin to imagine anything this horrific. Your poem will and should educate many. I had to stop while reading this to say a prayer for babies like this everywhere.
This was so, so difficult to read and it is absolutely heartbreaking. God protect and love those little ones! With tears running down my face, I agree this is EC material.
Ohhhh and Ughhh. I am heaving my own weighted sigh of woe.

How horrendously wicked and cruel to the life and soul of the "untouched." Yes, sweet Lord Jesus, come.

This is powerfully unbearable, remarkably written.

The way our youngest grandbaby clings to her mama (I've told her mama, too) is a testimony to Jesus' words about children: of such is the Kingdom of God. They already know how helpless we are to provide anything for ourselves.

We have missionaries from our church working with children around the world, in schools, campgrounds, and among street children. Every week meeting in prayer for them, I'm moved to tears realizing how big the task to reach every single little one, especially the homeless, actually is.

You've done such a good job crystalizing the need in your poem! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
Congratulations Marianne; I am so glad that this wonderful and heart-breaking poem was placed 1st. I was so touched by it last night that I forwarded it to my dear (Hospital Play Specialist) daughter who daily enriches suffering children's lives - may that work spread and grow.
Oh man, this is so sad. Congratulations on your EC but now my stomach is twisted in knots. So very sad:(
C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S!
Saw Margaret's comment about forwarding it to her daughter who helps suffering awesome!!!!
Some of you have asked if this is based on fact. Unfortunately, it is. And I've had to tone it down because the details are so terrible. I met one of these children when a neighbor adopted one from Yugoslavia. He was so emotionally stunted that he wouldn't let anyone come near him or touch him. At school he is a constant problem and our neighbors can't do anything to reach him, as hard as they've tried. He was in an orphanage until he was 6, never touched, never hugged or kissed and psychologists have told his new parents there is no way they can break through the barriers of his mind. I can't even let myself think of that baby standing in his crib begging and crying for someone to pick him up, to hold him for even a minute, but he was only touched when the orphanage staff changed his diaper or gave him some oatmeal. Can you imagine what he will be like at 25 or 30 - a misfit in society and likely always in trouble with the law. I don't want to be around when God's anger is let loose on those responsible for these tens of thousands of precious kids who were treated with even less kindness than dogs were treated. At least dogs are petted and hugged!
Congratulations, Mariane. This was so sad - especially as it's based on truth. Excellent writing!
Mariane, what a heartbreaking poem. It is something that is difficult to read, but we all need to be aware of. You did a great job conveying your message. Congratulations on your EC.
Oh Mariane, I wish I had read this earlier, but our computers were out of commission. So sorry. This poem is well worthy of the credits it received. But why should that be a surprise? Your poetry is always first place in my estimation. This is such a sad, touching story-poem. It reaches to the very core of one's heart. I had heard before of that sort of treatment, but your poem brought it to such an emotional point. I can only imagine what a child like that is like. But we did have one foster boy, age 4 when we got him that had been dumped and neglected. It took a long while for him to communicate with the others. It was pathetic. God said that it is better to have a millstone tied to one's neck and to be dumped into the ocean than to neglect or hurt a child...That's not exactly what the Bible says, but something like that...Anyway, the judgment on those who treat children worse than animals that will be horrendous. Thanks for bringing to light this horror story. What a land of privilege we live in. Let's pray we won't "blow" it....God's blessings on you. Please excuse the long comment. Sorry it didn't come sooner...Helen
I received a lot of Emails about this poem and today my niece wrote: "My sister and brother-in-law adopted 2 brothers from an orphanage in eastern Europe back in the early 90's. They were
1 1/2 and 2 years old. They both graduated this year from high school. And, sadly, they have the emotional scars you describe. The toll on my sister's marriage is enormous. Also, I have had one of these adopted orphans in my classes at school. He is in 3rd grade this year, and is also terribly, terribly scarred for life emotionally. Thanks for bringing this to light."

This is a tragedy that just goes on and on and will for generations.
A heart wrenching word, but one that needs to be shared.
Your compassion for these little ones is evident. God bless the families who attempt to give these children what they desperately need. Well done.
While reading this I could so easily see it. The picture you painted was so clear, and so very heartbreaking.
Mariane, dear heart, this is my first chance to comment on this remarkably written piece. I know of no one who could tackle this subject in verse form as effectively as you. Your first place win in Master's is perfect placement. I've been painfully aware of this situation, but your skill in bringing it to agonizing life in front of our eyes has moved me to tears. Since having our own tiny Heaven sent grandsons now, coming face to face with this evil reality is personally even more horrendous. There are unspeakable evils in this world, and this one is certainly at the top. God's millstones are ready. Yes, 'Come, Lord Jesus'.
This is superb! What talent to show anguish like this! I cried throughout the whole poem.
Such a terrible situation, but written with skill. Thanks for the prayer reminder.