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Submitted on
April 14
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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’’
realityisfarlessexciting
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:iconmajorasmasks:
MajorasMasks Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
Really touching.
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:iconrifle1980:
Rifle1980 Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2014   General Artist
thank you. I am glad you liked it :)
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:iconeilidhgraham:
eilidhgraham Featured By Owner May 29, 2014  New member Hobbyist General Artist
This is fantastic. In all honesty I began to think very badly of the man and found the poem to be perverted, but I think that is a prime example of human kind being far too quick to judge. It makes me really think about where the world has come to. Not so long ago children were allowed to play until dark and parents had hardly any worry on their minds. When you look at today's society and the way do many circumstances are potrayed by the media it worries me. Parents fear for their children to the point where they "assume" something bad is lurking at every corner. This poem really raises questions for me such as "are we too quick to assume ?" And "are we throwing our childrens childhoods and innocence away to quickly by teaching them only to assume." "Is it safe to keep your children so sheltered from the reality and beauty of the outside world all because we assume ?" Truly fantastic poem, I loved the twist my mind is working hard at the moment ! I rarely find a poem that can do that.
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:iconrifle1980:
Rifle1980 Featured By Owner May 29, 2014   General Artist
hey :) thank you so much for the comment.

I too was brought up in a time when children were allowed to play out till dark. People have become paranoid now and maybe rightly so but it shouldnt be at the expense of their sons and daughters childhood.

Its easy to forget the beauty in the world sometimes especially when such bad things can happen. But it is there, and always will be.

thanks again for the comment and fave and have a great evening :)
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:iconnotensmsk:
NotenSMSK Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Beautiful. I loved the work. In the start I had a little hesitance with the rhyming - the wordplay, while not mismanaged, did make me feel a little forceful rhyme. However the story was so well told and it made me wonder what made him follow young January. The over all story was very well told and the final stanza had the most impact. The beauty is in the fact that in essence what you have expressed is loss - but how you have expressed through an indirect way is amazing.

There was a little ambiguity at first... from the feel of a man following a girl it seemed as if the reference is to the protagonist being a young boy. The hair touching his arm did sort of reject that but still. So I was first confused over what happened but then I understood. Very well written.
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:iconrifle1980:
Rifle1980 Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2014   General Artist
thank you for this comment, i really do appreciate it.

I am glad you understood the story in the poem eventually. It sometimes hard when writing something that you have in your head clearly to remember that the reader has no prior information at all. I have the image in my head of the characters and what is happening but i need to remember the reader doesnt :)

thanks again
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:iconnotensmsk:
NotenSMSK Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
You are welcome :)

True, it has happened to me many times which is why I try to think like a clueless person to see the effect - it is not perfect but it helps. It works however - I think most readers connected with it.

You are welcome again.
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:iconmadarauchiha7:
MadaraUchiha7 Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2014   Artist
Remember me? I haven't commented for a while but for such an amazing piece of art I MUST!

It's just so emotional; so is the rest of your work. There's always that painful twist at the end that touches the reader's heart! 
And in this poem, I just can't explain it in words; the reader feels the same pain as the man and even more, causing it to make a lasting impression.

So sad and... "sweet," although I am not sure if sweet is the right word for it; the poem deserves more than just "sweet."
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:iconrifle1980:
Rifle1980 Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2014   General Artist
hey :) yeah i do remember you. How have you been??

Really glad you liked this poem and enjoyed the twist at the end.

thanks for the comment and its good to see you again :)
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:iconmadarauchiha7:
MadaraUchiha7 Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2014   Artist
I'm ok. What about you?
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