I see her running by the street,
Her little legs and tiny feet,
The echo of her gleeful laugh
May formulate her epitaph.

Today she plays in innocence,
Protected by a picket fence,
But yesterday, another tale
Of ceaseless torment and travail.

The jungle’s where I’m watching her
Escaping from the trafficker.
In her they see their profit made
By labor, sex upon her preyed.

The crying, naked girl in pain,
She runs away from war again.
Her shoeless feet are ripped and torn,
And purity had long been shorn.

A dark-skinned girl runs aimlessly
Past rock and river, stone and tree.
The hunters hope this girl that they’ve
Now chased for miles will be their slave.

She sprints upon the Southern land
To flee the chieftain’s harsh command
To be their willing sacrifice
And keep their living paradise.

Her coughing fit has slowed her pace
As wan and pallor fill her face.
Her phlegm-filled lungs are out of breath
And can’t outrun the Plague of Death.

The more she runs, the more they cheer,
The Coliseum feeds on fear,
A lion mauled her family
And stalks her as all whoop with glee.

With wearied feet she watches all
In wilderness her fellows fall
Each day, each year upon the sand
And never reach the Promised Land.

She runs with others to the Ark–
As angry clouds approach so dark–
To pound upon its doors now sealed
In judgment that won’t be repealed.

In haste she runs from Tree grove to
Her husband, Adam, heart askew,
With fruit in hand that did commence
The loss of human innocence.

I see her running down the street,
As timeless hearts together meet.
I pray for you my sweet, sweet child
That your life would not be defiled.

(Photo by Emma Bauso)