Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Barbie, Doll

She sat on the city sidewalk in her own urine.  I wanted to turn away but there was something about her that made me keep looking at her. Did I know her?

In one hand, there was a Barbie doll. Barbie's blonde hair and elegant dress was in stark contrast to the woman's greasy hair, torn clothes, and dirty hands which held the doll. I had to wonder: did her mother give her a Barbie when she was younger? She was someone's daughter.  She may have siblings. Perhaps even children of her own.

What pushed her to the streets? Did anyone miss her? She was someone's daughter, after all. Was there someone out there, wondering what happened to her, looking for her, searching for her?

Was there someone who cared about her, wanting to hold her as tightly as she clung to Barbie?

She was someone's daughter.

She was someone's daughter.

Then I realized: she and nameless, countless others will take their places on our city sidewalks as long as we think they are of someone else's family. Until we see those on the streets as our kin, people we miss, trhose we've been searching for, loved ones we long to hold and care for, our streets will remain the address of the forgotten and overlooked.

The woman who held the Barbie doll, tenderly, tightly in her hand? Now I recognize her: my daughter, my sister, my mother.

1 comment:

  1. Daughter, sister, mother . . . and once we stop to talk, friend.