Beautiful girl. She is alone in the world. No family. No worth. No belonging.
At 13, she has all insecurities and no self-love.
Standing in front of a cracked mirror
She mocks her nappy hair and rounded face.
She longs for the shiny ‘white’ hair she sees in American magazines and music videos
She cannot understand.
At 14, she is acting out.
In school, she misbehaves. From stores, she steals.
She is afraid. That no one will ever love her.
The orphanage caretakers are not her mother. Her mother, she does not know.
At 15, she reaches out for love and finds it in an 18-year-old hustler.
No home. No education. No money. But good lovin’, he’s got plenty.
It’s a blistering Brazilian evening when they consummate this “love”.
At 15, she is pregnant and no longer alone.
At 16, she is left to her own devices. This time, baby on board.
No more school. No more orphanage. No more carefree loving. Only responsibility.
Baby’s daddy comes around now and again. When he’s not using or dealing.
Looking into the eyes of baby, baby looks back at beautiful girl and smiles.
Both unaware of the strength and courage they give each other.
* This poem is lovingly dedicated to Jessica Pereira da Silva of Salvador, Brazil.