Innocence: a poem


Illustrated by JESSICA TSAI

Illustrated by JESSICA TSAI
Illustrated by JESSICA TSAI

Innocent: 4 years old
She licks the strawberry cream cheese frosting
and wonders if the glitter on her hands
was left by fairies in her sleep.
(she doesn’t know)

Innocent: 7 years old
Squirming in a chair that swallows her whole;
hospital waiting rooms are so quiet.
“Can we play a game?”
(she doesn’t realize)

Innocent: 13 years
Watching the news with red rimmed eyes;
they shouldn’t show blood on television.
She thinks, how is this real?
(she doesn’t understand)

 Innocent: 17 years
Runaway heart from a worn out home;
walking the streets in shoes her mother brought.
A voice–“Pretty little thing, come stay awhile.
Don’t you know it’s dangerous at night?”
(she doesn’t say no)

Innocent: 21 years
“Why are you crying?
Why do the cat-callers
scare you?”
(she doesn’t trust)

 Innocent: 30 years
A popping in her ears,
and a masked man holding a gun.
The next day, her friends are on the news.
(she doesn’t watch)

Innocent: 30 years and one week
Sitting in a chair that hurts her back;
waiting is still so quiet, and
the nurse is wearing the worst kind of smile.
(she doesn’t ask)

Innocent: 80 years
She doesn’t like it here;
people keep telling her
“The fairies only exist in your head, dear.”
(she doesn’t know)

Staff Writer