Pretty Girl in Crutches

 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!


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