A Burnt Heart

By Marie-Rose Sau

An entry in the Abt Associates Award for Women’s Literature

There was a broken heart
Searching the lands
With a shattered spirit
Abused and torn

She had tears in her eyes
Her nails full of dirt
From scratching the earth
And there she walked on

Stumbled on the road
Swaying about from hunger
There is no one to turn to
And yet she trudged on

Came the rain
That pelted down on her
Cursing her to pity
She was cold

Cursed and abused and beaten
Yes that was what they did
And looked down on her
They spit at her

But she was born strong
A kind spirit hidden beneath
But who will see
They already broke her spirit

And she cried and cried
Tears of pain
She lost her voice pleading
Her stolen innocence

Lifted her arms
Begged and begged
To ears that were turned
They never wanted to listen

But she was born strong
Like her mother before her
Through all the pain
She held her head high

Now the sun is setting
The raindrops have lessened
Hatred and bitterness is all that’s left
And the skies have darken

Shamed without cause
And still they broke her
Armed with only prayers
Prayers to her God

They tied her down
Cut her up
Swore her around
And poured the blame on her

And finally when the sun set
And the night came
With no wind in the air
They set fire to her struggling heart…

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