If I had a crystal ball, a magic wand, a time machine
if I could fly a carpet
click my heels
I’d go find that little girl
with ratty brown hair and hazel eyes
such a tiny thing
and all alone
with scrapes on her knees
and bruises on her arms
who did not hurry to school
nor hurry home
I’d go find her at her favorite spot
outside the window, in front of the shop
standing there in her dirty, yellow-stained dress
awed by the tall plastic ladies
in their pretty new skirts
I’d get down on one knee
gently tuck her hair behind her ear,
softly stroke her cheek with the back of my hand,
kiss her forehead and whisper to her heart
“What a precious child you are!
How brave you have been!
What promise you hold!
And one day, when you are as grown as those ladies in the window,
you won’t be afraid anymore,
nor need linger in the in-between places.
Because you will be in charge of yourself.”