Six

A photo of three girls, about six years old. Each will grow into their own person, their own blessings, their own troubles. I’m struck by one in particular, the smallest of the three. There’s a sadness behind her stiff, forced smile, shaded by preternaturally dark circles beneath her big brown eyes. 

Why doesn’t she want to be there? What is she thinking, and how will this emotional template manifest twenty, thirty, forty years from now? 

Surely, I’m making this up. 
This is some run-of-the-mill projection. 
But what if I’m right? 
What if she needs, 
more than anything, 
for someone to tell her to look up, 
for someone to tell her they care?

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