Tiny Purple-Clad Child

Yesterday
I went to the sanctuary
Whither incense
And flowers
Sweetly perfumed the air.
They told me I’d find peace there.

Yesterday
I went to the forest
Whither I basked
In the fragrance
Of sunlight-warmed dew.
They told me I’d find beauty there.

Yesterday
I went to the pond
Whither I saw a string of ponies
Trotting homeward
Following the lead
Of a tiny purple-clad child.
They told me I’d find innocence there.

Today
I went to the sanctuary
Whither the air was heavy
With the smell of blasphemous sacrifice
That neither camphor nor jasmine
Could mask.
I found no peace there.

Today
I went to the forest
Whither the soil was saturated
With the lifeblood of an innocent
Defiled by non-human beasts
Who are running free.
I found no beauty there.

Today
I went to the edge of the pond
Whither the horses came to drink
But
I found no tiny purple-clad child there.
How could I?
I couldn’t.
She was dead.

(Asifa Banu, the child in the pictures, eight-years-old, was the victim of a brutal gang-rape and murder. This is her story: http://gulfnews.com/news/asia/india/asifa-bano-this-8-year-old-s-rape-and-murder-is-a-horror-story-beyond-sexual-violence-in-india-1.2204423

Rest in peace, Asifa. You didn’t deserve to die.)

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susannacorreya99

Writer, editor, human being.

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