She Cries

by Linda Boyden

She stands alone, 

four years old, 
freshly plucked 
from Mamá’s arms 
dumped into 
a cold building 
with other children, 
silent or moaning, 
all strangers. 

Above her towers a 

mountain of a man 
dark clothes, 
darker expression. 
He spews 
harsh, foreign words 
she doesn’t understand. 
She sees the anger 
etched on his face 
his eyes like a snake’s, 
cold, unforgiving. 

She wets herself 

cries harder 
her legs give out 
she sits down hard 
rough hands 
grab her 
rougher words 
sting her ears. 

She cries 

for Mamá and Papí. 
She is a good girl 
she is alone, afraid, 
and she mourns. 
She will never forget.

© Linda Boyden. All rights reserved. 

Linda Boyden is a storyteller and the author of The Blue Roses, published in 2002 by Lee and Low Books, winning their first New Voices Award. Since then it has won two other national awards and was included on the CCBC (Cooperative Children's Book Center) 2003 Choices list of recommended titles. Her second book, Powwow's Coming, was published by the University of New Mexico Press in 2007. She illustrated it making the pictures from cut-paper collage. 
Her third book Giveaways: An ABC Book of Loanwords from the Americas was also published by the University of New Mexico Press and again she had the privilege of illustrating the book. A recovering schoolteacher with over thirty years of experience, she has spent most of her adult life leading children to literacy. She enjoys performing at schools and working with students, school visits, storytelling programs at libraries, and presenting at writing conferences and other events around the country. Linda is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers, and her local Redding Writers Forum.

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