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Girl Fourteen

This poem was written by me a couple of years ago. As I was driving down a back road between Gladwin and Mt. Pleasant, Michigan (USA), I'd come upon a farm auction. Both sides of the road were lined with cars and trucks. The auction was so large, I actually had to stop about ½ mile before the home due to the fact that both sides of the road were lined with vehicles, and it was hard to fit between the lines of parked vehicles and the oncoming traffic. The ironic thing is that I took back roads in order to avoid traffic, and this auction actually made me a few minutes late due to the traffic surrounding the event. When I got about 100 feet past the front of the home, I passed a gentleman who was walking sternly towards the driveway, and trailing about 20 feet behind him, was a young teenaged girl. Something about the scene just haunted me. As I arrived at my destination; a sweet 16 party, again I was reminded that the lone girl heading to the auction should've been spending her Saturday like the other 30 giggling girls I was currently with. When returning home that evening, I told my husband about the girl and even reflected on the fact that I could not shake her image from my mind, nor my heart from the concerned thoughts that swirled inside my head. After lying in bed for roughly two hours and not sleeping, I quickly grabbed my laptop and typed out this haunting poem in honor of that girl:

Girl Fourteen

She couldn’t have been more than 14, but she may as well been 41.
All ready with the “wear of despair”...
She walked along the road, trailing her father, or maybe her grandfather..........at the farm auction.........26 degrees....cold February day.....
She was wearing a hand-me-down jacket from big brother, snapped to the top, only allowing her mismatched hoody and sad eyes to poke out.

Her entire life was printed on her clothing: from birth, till death, more legible than the lines in her hand that the local gypsy reads on Saturday's in the park.

• 18 graduate
• 18 1/2-marry
• 19 baby #1
• 20 baby #2
• 24 twins
• 30 feeling twice her age, baby #5
• 35 found out about husbands leisure activities, happily sleeping on the couch
• 40 grandbaby #1
• 45 grandbaby #8
• 55 sending grandbaby #1 off to the auction with Grandpa.......

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