Number 100 Million and One

resist the darkness

Sixty to one-hundred million women are "missing" from the world's population. Among the living, many are oppressed.

I will never forget a picture I once saw in the New York Times magazine, of girls in a window display. Each girl had a number pinned to her clothing.

They were so young, and despite that they would be "otherwise engaged" throughout the day and night, they were sitting simply. One was combing the long black hair of another, like any young girl playing with friends. But this was no house of play.

Today, reading Forgotten Girls, I was taken by the invitation to write a poem from an oppressed girl's point of view, a girl who knows not love... and almost certainly not God's love.

As I began to write, I remembered the girls in the window...

"Number 100 Million and One"

I am the girl in the window
combing her hair twined and black
smiling so no one will know

there's a scar on my heart that grows
in the night, when I lie on my back
I am the girl in the window

crimsoned with memories of low
men and high, bright keepers who track,
smiling so no one will know

even the wind, when it whispers and blows
disperses my secrets beyond the black
I am the girl in the window

beseeching the stars to silently show
a hidden path past wall's slim crack
smiling so no one will know

the shush of my soul as it ebbs and it flows
searches for red silken ribbon gone slack
I am the girl in the window,
smiling so no one will know.

"Resist the Darkness" in soft pastel, by L.L. Barkat. For practical ways to help the forgotten girls of the world, go to Sisters in Service.

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Anonymous Maureen said...

Loved everything about this post. . . and the words, they all leave me haunted.

Anonymous Candie said...

Please check out my interview with Michele Rickett, founder and president of Sisters In Service, on my blog Stitchable Sisters:

Speaking of Hope: A Conversation with Michele Rickett of Sisters In Service


Thanks for listening and sharing!

Blogger Kelly Sauer said...

wow, this is beautiful... Maureen is right - haunting...

Blogger Laura said...

Just, chills.

Have you heard the contemporary Christian song God of this City? The band Bluetree wrote it after a tour in Thailand. They were playing a bar--because it was the only place that would let them play Christian music--when they noticed a group of young girls that were being bought by men and then taken upstairs. It devastated them. But God spoke to them in the midst of it; reassured them that He sees all this sorrow. That He is still the God of this city--the God of the universe.

Blogger S. Etole said...

Silence knows ... but doesn't share. The pastel is powerful.

Anonymous Dena Dyer said...

L.L., it breaks my heart every time I hear about human trafficking. Thank you for putting a face on it, in the form of this beautiful poem. I pray that we/I may seek God's face about how we/I can make a difference to these victims.


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