Tiny wide eyed tot,
startled by any
approaching footsteps.
Rubbing the cigarette
burns on her arms,
hugging a teddy bear
dog chewed and worn,
in rag tag clothes.

She sits alone
at the shelter,
mom's been removed,
because she removed herself
from the situation,
whenever the screaming started.

It hurt too much,
backhands and bloody noses
then he beat their baby anyway.
Vodka was her tonic,
and a fist her daughter's binky.

Dad's in the pen,
where all animals belong.
If she was my niece,
my pen would be my sword,
stuck in dad's eyes.
A sheer stroke
of genius expressed,
poetry in motion.

No human jury would convict me.

Soon she is tranquilized
so that she can sleep.
Every creak of the door,
might be dad wanting more.

Strapped in a bed,
so that she won't fall,
because she is fragile,
her badly knitted bones
are like glass sticks.

beyond all limits
of a two year old,
and any more pain,
might send her to a place,
from which she
will never return.

Alas, she died
this past Sunday,
from a ruptured spleen
and damaged kidneys,
but now she plays
under the wings of angels
happily ever after,
on heaven's sheltered shores.

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