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As a little girl

I said my prayers every night,

sure to name every person,

wishing for them the love,

protection and safety I sorely lacked.

I’d lie there, inherently guilty, sure I’d forgotten someone, sure my failure meant certain suffering for all.

But, beneath it all, there was hope.

Hope I’d be allowed

to sleep all night this time.

Hope it wouldn’t be me he chose tonight.

Guilt for my selfishness.

Guilt for my smallness.

Guilty that I was so weak.

Shame at my core.

Now grown, I still wish on eyelashes (and stars, the moon, dandelions gone to seed).
I understand the limited power of those tools, but do it all the same. Like a nod to innocence and ignorance, smallness and hope.

I still wish, but I do all I can to make my life one of my own choosing.