Esmé comes down the stairs
with angry tears streaking
unwanted understanding down her Year 5 face.
This is death like she’s never known
It opens a window, far too soon,
into a world where girls are killed
by human hands –
even small, smart six year olds
who fought against the odds
and should have won.
I take the book and read the page.
Her solemn face looks on.
Oh no! My heart breaks.
This grief is fierce and harsh –
the cruel kind that cuts through childhood,
leaving careless, jagged scars.
I hold her tight and let her cry-
for Zelda, whose story ends right here.
And for all those shadows she now sees
that stalk the night and darken days –
shadows so real that wardrobe beasts
and sharp-toothed wolves of fantasy
seem, side-by-side, like easy dreams.
Be brave Esmé!
For if there’s other girls like you
who feel injustice deep inside,
have fire blazing in their eyes
and use their hearts and souls to fight,
then maybe there is half a chance
we might just be alright.