You walked in in crutches,
A pretty girl in a red, flower-patterned knee-length dress…with trestles
Wearing stockings, on a bright summers day & on crutches!
I thought you’d sprained your leg at the gym,
Like all those young things playing at being trendy models,
Your thick brown locks did frame:
Strikingly lush red lips and a set of bright emerald pools for eyes,
You could not have gone unnoticed, even if you’d tried!
A striking, large, Black Widow Tattoo in purple with black outline, on the back of your right hand-
On the nape between thumb and forefinger-
Peaking the curiosity, like every one bore witness to it like me!
As I answered your confidential questions-
I asked, curiously ‘what happened?’, clumsily indicating your crutches
You didn’t take offence, as you likely should have;
You tapped one of the crutches against your left leg as you looked on amusingly,
To the echo of the sound of a hollow wooden limb,
‘It goes all the way up’, you said noticing my surprise with familiarity/mischievous amusement yet content
I had the audacity to ask: how did that happen?
You explained in remarkable candidness and it left me horrified.
Violently robbed of your innocence as a child of 12,
In the wake of the Balkan conflict-
Then, shot six times by the same man who had intended to leave no trail behind,
‘I’m covered in bullets’, you said
Such horrific information, delivered matter-of-factly in all earnestness!
I was left speechless,
You recognised the signs, well-used by now to the reaction over the past decade ‘n’ more,
As you smiled & wobbled away awkwardly,
I reflected on:
Your strength against impossible adversity;
Many would not have been so strong nor lasted this long,
Though, not, you:
Your attitude is determination, from root to stem!
And your character and will are a mix of iron & steel-
Holding up a external set of features that is extraordinary,
You will fare well, in the end
And is a lesson to all about determination overcoming adversity:
That, we all must relentlessly fight for what we want, every second that we are alive!
For humankind, life is not simply about survival of the fittest as Darwin suggested, but also-
Who is most determined to withstand life’s trials, tribulations & demands!
If only I had the guts to say these words to your face,
Rather than in retrospect, in awe of a brave lass; fighting the good fight, with all of her might & more!