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Between Laughter and Tears

Such a happy child, so undefiled,
Born into a world of madness;
It wasn’t long before her song
Became a tune of sadness.

A whipping post for madness’ host,
She took the brunt of anger,
As she was hit with fist and stick,
Sometimes a metal hanger.

Wooden spoons, long-handled brooms,
Came down upon her backside;
And leather belts raised bloody welts,
Upon her tender hide.

And yet this child, so shy, so mild,
Would not allow herself to cry;
Instead she laughed, oh how she laughed,
While both her eyes stayed dry.

For though she knew each laugh construed
To make the beating longer;
She could not let the world forget
Though smaller, she was stronger.

It was not ’til, the fists were still,
And she had reached her room,
That she’d allow the tears to flow;
With sobs she’d be consumed.

And though unseen, somewhere between
The laughter and the tears,
Her mind and spirit disappeared;
She lost her childhood years.

It was too late, the cost too great,
The cycle was complete;
For though she tried she could not hide:
Madness was her defeat.

© Linda E. Newman 
All rights reserved.
Used with permisssion
Read more of Linda's poetry  Here