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The Solitude of an Only Child


She is kind
And soft and pink
Like the Cinderella, she adores.
Though unlike her
Glass slippers,
She wears a heart of glass,
A transparent, shining
But brittle heart.

The sun spreads out
On the terrace
With slothful arrogance,
As trees
With barren branches
Watch across the window
in melancholy.

I suddenly wake up
From the siesta,
To find her riding
Her bicycle on the terrace,
In circles
On a journey which
Takes her nowhere.

She rides in circles
And talks in riddles,
To herself,
Sometimes pretending to be
A teacher, sometimes a student
Like the princess
In the fable of sleeping princess
Doomed to the sixteen years
Of lonely growing up
In a forlorn fortress,
Albeit without even
The company of three
Loving fairies.

With an confounding
Feeling of affection and gloom
I watch her
As I recollect
The broken glass pieces
Spread randomly
Across the innards
Of my being,
A heart broken
Across the years of my own
Merciless, solitary childhood,
Which I have long since
Pretended never to have happened
But which
Returns to me
With a sadistic, evil smile on its face
And beats on the doors,
With ugly, heavy and hairy arms
As the weak latches
Shakes in the fear
Of impending defeat.

Will I, her father,
be able to transform
My self into one of those
Many coloured fairies,
And be a company to my child
Filling up her days
With companionship
Never leaving an empty, silent moment
In her life
Until she is old enough
For a handsome prince
To gallop across
On a dashing white horse
With grand mane,
To climb up the fortress walls
And kiss her out of a lonely childhood
And walk with her
Into the horizon
Beyond the rainbows;
Where the sounds
Of laughter, of music
And dancing with abandon
Flows agains the banter of friends
And glasses and cutleries clink
With welcome?

This is the question
Which I need to answer today
For her sake and mine.










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