Innocence Lost Too Soon

won’t you come and live with us?
I’ll protect you she says
tears in her eyes.

I pause in painful silence
that a child so young could perceive
needs she should never imagine

I’d rather have my entrails torn
from my bloodied body
heart still beating life into my being

than know this innocent
already knows the depths of fear
palpable yet unspoken between her elders

her future lies in the balance
and I am powerless to protect her
from a mother who has no soul

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