Through the eyes of a child

11 years old she is aware
her life’s already in tatters
shattered like her heart.
Her body still aches from growth spurts
now, her mind will hurt the same
and inside she’ll be as jagged
as a broken window pane.

Soon she will be marrying
this man
this stranger by her side
(old enough to be her grandfather)
who’ll take her for his bride

through his eyes only, will
she ever see the world but
she will never know her worth.
He’s paid the asking price
and will rain down upon her
showering her beauty with
bruises to match a rainbow sky
and she (the child) sits and waits
feeling such apprehension
A rising fear behind those eyes

never knowing the precious
gift of life that should be
hers by right.

She looks at him
through the eyes of a child
wondering what will
happen next.


© Daydreamertoo *All rights reserved

I saw a post on Facebook by the CNN news reporter Christiane Amanpour about this child bride of 11 marrying a 40 year old man in Afghanistan. The report shows other girls and goes on to say that this happens in various countries in many parts of the world. Some girls as young as six (and some boys too) are sold into marriage.  One young girl aged 10, successfully won a divorce after she found a woman lawyer willing to take up her case.
Christiane Amanpour said she herself has tried for many years to highlight this and bring it into the forefront of the news as much as she can to try and change this custom but, it still takes a long time to change long held tribal traditions.
It breaks my heart to think of these young girls, who should be playing with dolls and dressing up and playing make believe games,  having fun with their friends, having their childhoods and their innocence ripped from them in such barbaric ways. This upset me so much, I felt I had to write something for these girls and try to get it off my chest.

Hope this meets the prompt

Shared with dVerse Poets Form for all:

Author: Daydreamer

I live on a beautiful island in Atlantic Canada.

37 thoughts on “Through the eyes of a child”

  1. It’s hard, as a good old leftie who respects other cultures, to swallow this. I know it has to do with arranged marriage, which used to be part of my WASP English culture as well, to keep power and money “in the family.” But not children. This is child abuse, and it will be up to the women to find the unity, a place to safely meet, and the willingness to stand up to the men to change this = or possibly an enlightened male leader? Who is not polygamous?

    Your piece is minimalistic and says volumes. Way to go, hon. Amy

  2. Difficult to understand and to be aware that there are still arranged marriages such as these where money speaks louder than any child’s words to claim the right to be a ‘person’ in their own right, as they are never to have any that are theirs. Thank you for a forthright post.

  3. Heartbreaking. Truly. Yet it is the custom in so many places. You did brilliantly, your beautiful words underscoring the terrible fate of this young girl.
    Thank you.

  4. Ugh. Humanity does so many inhumane things in the name of culture or religion. It’s so sad for these children. Nice that you write about it.

  5. this is so disgusting. but no one wants to do anything about this awful religion. this isn’t just child abuse. it’s abuse of women. and he poor mind will also never be educated or opened to anything beautiful, cultural or creative. this soooooo pisses me off. and the attitude of acceptance to this horrible horrible religion is even worse.


    1. Tammy, it’s up to the women to find their power. Best way is the Net, I think… to stand up to the bullies and the ayatollahs. But then again, American women got the VOTE less than a hundred years ago and still don’t have equal rights wtih men… and in some cases, are married off with parental consent as young as 15. Amy

  6. You captured this well. From this to the trafficking of children for sex and more…and more… I can’t believe we (as a species) haven’t come further yet.

  7. There is an audience out there that will probably not read this who ought to….too easy to turn a blind eye to such sad things that go on in the world….

  8. It’s a case of security for the girl that the parents agreed to. In some cases it was a debt repaid. Sad! Great you brought it to the fore, Bren!


  9. Many child marriages remain unconsummated, but that doesn’t make it right. This story is symptomatic of a barbaric society, which needs to be changed from the inside. Outside interference tends to lead to suffering and bloodshed, making the last state worse than the first.

  10. women’s {and girls’} “rights” are non-existent to horrific in so much of the world!

  11. powerful piece. There’s been a lot of stories lately that have caught my eye, This one for sure, Excellent job of illustrating story and moments to ponder within. Strong.

  12. Bren, you highlight a particularly hideous practice which so many are fighting to change … it must have been as tough to write as it is to read … but not as tough as the lives of these poor innocents …

  13. I hope writing this helped you feel a little better, Bren. But so very difficult to know there isn’t much we can do to stop these widely held sick beliefs. Shedding light on them though is a good start. Thanks for that.

  14. Your words are strong and leave me feeling pure dread for this child… and disgust for their ways. I can’t wrap my mind around this… I watched the video and wanted to rescue her….

  15. Such a strange and terrifying world some people live in. I can’t imagine how she feels or thinks. Treated like an object. And the fear and possibility of being broken, abused, kept. You’ve really brought out the fear and underline the attention that she is a child.

  16. I don’t think I will ever understand (nor do I want to) cultures that 1)believe it is okay to buy and sell children 2)believe it is okay to take a child away from family to marry 3) and the parents who need the money so badly that they would agree to such a thing. It is barbaric and really somewhat perverted in my mind to do such things. Appreciate your bringing this story to light and reminding us the atrocities that other societies believe in, and how lucky our own lives, our own children, are.

  17. Thank you for writing this, it is abhorrent to me and yet so many people – in civilized countries like our own say, “to each their own”. It is so sad, and your poem shows such love and conviction. Well done.

  18. It’s truly terrible what goes on….that poor girl & many like her….well written…my heart goes out to her

  19. I have heard that some of these marriages are to protect the girl, not to initiate her to marriage, but, ok, that may be rare. Your poem is on fire, angry with shatters, tatters, breakage, her only rainbow in the bruises and bruises, the only gift. You make the plight unmistakeable. Youth and bloom is stolen. Stop it.

  20. So sad – such a horrible situation for a child to be in. And the idea of seeing through another’s eyes from that point on brings it into sharp focus…

  21. That is just horrible they let a child of 11 marry. Thanks, though, for speaking out on this.

  22. You have done a wonderful job of highlighting a terrible tragedy that happens much too often in this world. Instead of feeling like there is nothing you can do, you have stepped out in faith that your one voice can make a difference. I pray that it does. Peace, Linda

  23. Oh my, not another form of sex trafficking!

    He’s paid the asking price
    and will rain down upon her
    showering her beauty with
    bruises to match a rainbow sky

    ultimate juxtaposition…wow.

  24. ugh…i dont even to know where to being explaining the twist in my stomach at this….i can not imagine the horror for her..only a child…this hurts…powerful write bren////

  25. Brilliant write on a very important subject, some excellent lines ” inside she’ll be as jagged as a broken window pane”….it really saddened me, makes me appreciate everything I have.

  26. Bren, thank you so much for bringing this to the light of day and helping to spread awareness. The look in her eyes just kills me – and the worst is yet to come, and very soon.

  27. What an awful fate for a young girl to have to marry such a man just because he paid the asking price. Tragic for this child and so many other children who have no choices in life. The little girl pictured looks truly petrified. An important write, Bren.

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