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I saw her at the local supermarket
She could have been no older than ten
She was buying some refreshing beverages
To quench the thirst of herself and her friends

On this summers day they had waited outside
Lacking patience they were shouting her name
‘January, hurry up we have to go home!’
From the shop young January soon came

Rushing past me at the speed of her childhood
My lonely heart skipped a beat or two
Either from her soft brown hair that touched my arm
Or the smile she gave as she passed through

Did I hurry through my shopping on purpose
In order to catch young January up?
Fumbling my loose change as I left the store
The cashier complained I’d given her too much

I feel everyone’s eyes boring in to me
So away from the store I swiftly fled
Knowing fine well that I should just return home
But something made me follow the girl instead

Pretending to read the receipt in my hand
I watched closely in the corner of my eye
Which way would young January be walking
Once her friends had waved her goodbye

A deluge of relief washed over me
It appeared that she would be walking my way
See I did not want to be seen as a danger
Nor as a predator stalking his prey

But still I walked down the road close behind her
Taking each step in time with her stride
Just wanting to spend some time with her
As for so long that privilege had been denied

I was just about to reach out and touch her
As she was greeted with open arms at her door
Her father embraced her tiny frame in his arms
My head hung lower in shame towards the floor

I could hear the words pass from her father's lips
Reading from a paper as I went on my way
‘That’s the poor soul who lost his young daughter
It says here that it was a year ago today’’
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Submitted on
April 14, 2014


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