Every morning I would wait for him.

At the day care center I worked at,

he would come with his father,

who would drop him in my arms and make his quick escape.

My little charge would cry piteously for Daddy,

but eventually, he would snuggle in my arms, content.

He never spoke and his nose ran constantly.

He didn’t seem to hear well. He was always sick.

He followed me everywhere, all day long.

Blond haired, blue eyed and sickly pale,

he found his way into my heart.

I was his protector, his defender, his comfort.

We tried. 

Every time he was sick, we called his parents.

They were busy! They worked in the City and

they couldn’t break away. They were in a meeting.

They never came right away. I don’t believe

they ever called the doctor.

I did what I could. I nurtured him, I loved him.

Twice, I went with him in the ambulance

to the hospital and stayed with him as he lay there patiently.

He didn’t cry when I was with him.

He trusted me, you see.

That last time, in the hospital, I remained a professional.

I did not tell his father what I thought of him and his wife.

I think the man saw something in my eyes, though.

Or maybe it was a doctor at the hospital, appalled at

the condition of this child.

After that, they took him to the doctor and he has some surgery,

tubes in his ears, his adenoids removed.

I don’t work there anymore but I visit now and then.

He always comes and lifts his arms for me to pick him up.

He rattles on about his day, he kisses me.

He is bright, sharp, endlessly talkative and healthy.

His face is rosy, his little body filled out.

He is so funny. He makes me smile.

He is beautiful. 

Was I wrong? 

Should I have reported this

family to the authorities?

I don’t know.


Did I do everything I could have?

Probably not.

I don’t know.

© Ellie Maziekien


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