Where did my Little Girl go?

This was written in Hollis, OK, while working at Westview Boy’s Home. We were living at Mitchell Cottage at the time.  Tabitha was going through a very rebellious stage which lasted many years. I wrote this after Tabitha did several rebellious acts including busting out a window, going down to the boy’s rooms late at night and even hitting her mother. This was a total switch from the little girl who used to give me kisses and hugs. She was always a source joy for me when she was little, but at that time she brought us much sorrow. One night while lying in bed I wrote this poem and gave it to her. To my surprise she sort of liked it.

Tabitha was a real trial to raise. It truly a love hate relationships. I loved her dearly, but I really hated the things she did. Tabitha are too much alike. Perhaps that is why I reacted so strongly at times. She reminded me of the old me that I desired so much to change. I really didn’t understand the pain she was going through herself, nor how to help her.

I would really like to know
Where in the world did my little girl go?
I really don’t like to complain,
But the girl I have now doesn’t act quite the same.

My little girl showered me with kisses and hugs
But the girl I have now acts like a thug.
My little girl used to do what I said,
But this one I have now just wants me dead.

Where did I go wrong with this child I raise?
Is this defiant rebellion only a phase?
The words she speaks cause me such pain
Why must she treat me with such great distain?

Is it too much to ask her to obey?
Must I get mad before she’ll do what I say?
Must I punish with leather or wood
Just to get her to do what she should?

I want the child back who viewed me with respect
Who I could love deeply and feel no regret.
I miss that girl with all my might
For she always tried to do what was right.

What turned something sweet to obnoxious and mean,
Who makes me want to howler and scream?
The answer I’m sure I may never know,
But still I wonder where’d my little girl go?

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About Ken Sayers

I'm currently employed by a children's home where my wife and I care for a cottage of girls who have been displaced from their families. I'm a middle age man with two grown children of my own and one grandchild. I have worked as a United States Marine, a youth minister, a preacher, a childcare worker, and a truck driver. My hobbies include photography, horses, playing guitar, writing, and fitness.
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