We found her starving in the street. 
Dirty red dress, no shoes on her feet. 

Clutching a dead kitten close to her breast,
Sad story; we needed to know the rest. 

"What is the name of your kitten?" I asked. 

"Poignant!" She held it tight, her face masked. 

"That's a mighty big word for a little girl's head?"

"My Mommy said it, when my Daddy fell dead."

"And where is your mother, and why aren't you fed?"

Tears welled up in her eyes. "Poignant," she said. 

Copyright 2003 © Ronald W. Hull


Stegner photo of a doll's head in a cotton field

Robert Kennedy talks to a poor child.


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