3: The Girl Who Couldn’t

3: The Girl Who Couldn’t

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Just for Preteens

The Girl Who Couldn’t

Try and fail, but don’t fail to try.

~Stephen Kaggwa

She was just a girl,
A lonely soul of eleven.
She was an average kid,
The fifth sibling among seven.
Neither here nor there,
With no thoughts or friends to call her own,
She was, in the world of raging lions,
A weak and stumbling fawn.

Never on the top,
Nor even in the bottom,
She never stood out,
She was like a fallen leaf in autumn.
Neither eyes nor lips
Ever spoke a word.
Unnoticed and uncared for,
She was lost in the herd.

Not a giggle, not a smile
Escaped her pink lips.
Her tears were wiped by none
But her own tiny fingertips.
Lost and insecure, oh what
She must have gone through every day!
A girl of just eleven
What more can I say?

A child is a believing creature
With a mind as brittle as pure gold
“A loser” and “a failure,”
That’s what she was told.
She accepted it always,
With her head held like a broken bow.
And she became the girl who couldn’t
Only ’cause they told her so.

~Sneha Pillai

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