A Small Rite of Passage

For now she sleeps, her hair across her arm—

a teddy bear slips from her warm fingers.

Her innocence and beauty so disarm,

scarcely would you guess that worry lingers.


A nameless shadow joins her fragile sleep

from childhood illness—gone, but nonetheless

discomfort that surprised her, and so deep,

her dreams are somewhat darkened by distress.


With wind as unexpected as a cyclone

illness came and swept away the chapter

of little girlhood—now the pages gone

like every child before, and each one after.


Before, she was a small child with a bear—

at chapter’s end her star has shed a tear.






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