The Little Ones

This poem is about a panic attack I had at my workplace when a known child abuser touched my hand. I don’t quite remember what happened, only that I was so disgusted that I was left horrified when she gave me her change. If I was so scared, how must her children feel?

Pain is felt where you’ve touched me,

though I know you’ve never hurt me.

But those same hands have hurt others,

ones I call sisters and brothers.

Why you’ve used such caring arms

to cause the little ones some harm,

I never will quite understand

how you rationalize your backhand.

So as I catch my rasping breath,

winded from the pain you’ve left,

I can only imagine the fear they face

even when they catch your gaze.

If only there was something to say

that could suddenly change your ways,

but sworn to secrecy I was told

of those scars that now seem old,

to those who bore them in the past

who hope they will never last.

 

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