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  • Writer's pictureOrina Ontiri

For Maya: A Girl My Age


For Maya

A girl my age.

A girl the age I was

when I first saw her story.

I was a girl vacationing in Cape Cod with my family.

She was a girl in St. Louis Missouri

On a television screen,

but real as life

for a girl my age

watching a girl my age with a family,

be taken

but not destroyed.

A girl my age stopped talking for years

but never stopped communicating.

A girl my age went away

yet never left.

A girl my age

returned with words overflowing

returned with wisdom

never knowing

how she would shape the world,

returned with her own life

in her own hands

and her own voice.

A girl my age,

long since a woman

now passed on

and newly reborn

in the voices of women like me,

who spin silence into power.


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