When I was a child, Innocence used to live in my community
Yes, they were bullies, but also mothers that stood up to resist
And fathers that sent you back to school to return with a trophy
There were mothers who could leave their children for the market
And return to meet them alive and in one piece.
Fathers who taught boys how to be men and not celebrate the beast in them
Fathers who knew to be proud of their legacy, wealthy or not!
Back then, it felt good to be a child, as my short baby dress wasn’t an invitation
But a girl beautifully dressed with ribbons and matching socks…
Trusting fingers clinging to out-stretched adult hands
Giggling as my feet left the ground; above an uncle’s shoulder…
When Innocence was a child like me!
Now Innocence is grown in more ways than she should
The quick movement of retreating eyes tell sordid tales
Of several forms of abuse, unspoken and unreached hurts
Innocence wears a gown not her size, trying desperately to hide
Yet searching ‘Hawks’ snatch her fresh before Momma turns to defend
Making a woman of her, laden with a child. Yet, she herself is one!
I don’t know if Innocence will return…
But I seek all who will her cause defend and Hawks prevent
Will you join me? So we truly have a Happy Children’s day.
*Both male and female gender suffer different forms of abuse and need to be cared for, defended, loved and made to enjoy their innocence. Let’s be the voice of the new-born, 3-month baby who can’t form words yet or the one whose truth is disbelieved.
**We still have parents that believe in family values and uphold them at every given opportunity.
©2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved