The poets asked for a soothsayer to sing the rain.

When she came, she was imperfect.

The good boys told her to lie.

So she found a bed of pansies and rested.

The worn women of the ward came worrying with consonance.

They spent their rag money to get close to her.

They saw their lives flash in her.

Lie they said.

Lie soon.

Unarmed and unprotected, she trusted them.

Immediately she lay beside a cruel man in an alley.

He staggered her way as the women dispersed homeward.

One turned back to her begging her to lie before skirting.

The girl lost her innocence on that day when asked why she rested there.

She kept to the truth before he assaulted her.

She fought hard but she was small.

A lump of flesh with a soul stumbling homeless for shelter that night.

All the eyes looked crazy.

A barefoot man approached her.

He asked if she needed help.

He did not tell her to lie.

He did not cover her beady eyes.

Accustomed only to honesty, she chirped yes.

He took her to his library.

She was given a room and a meal for the night.


The next morning, she was so confused.

She started to leave, but the barefoot man returned with books.

He said she was leaving too soon to know the truth.

That is how she learned to read.

Reading gave her the answers she needed to teach others.

On Friday nights she wrote letters to her students.

She learned to see when doors were open.

She learned to shut and lock doors.

She learned to sing to the rain.

She prayed to never lie.