twelve girls

Ariane, an open European mystic
Ashley, filled with vitality and drive
Bonny, the cutest and most feminine
Charlie, the naughtiest of all
Georgia, whose smile lit up a room
Holly, the best and worst of people
Jessica, who ran away and hid
Luciana, who said she saw the danger
Mae, a wonderfully fascinating person
Nadia, a kind erratic sorceress
Sophie, intense but lost to her intolerance
and Vik, my unlikely perfect pussycat.

Twelve survivors caught in the cross-hairs
of memory’s fidelity, its fickle deft agility,
always seen from my perspective –
a flickering selective point of view –
as I chased my solitary tiger’s tail,
circling back across the wolf pack’s tracks:
wolves held by the ears in fear and fascination,
prowling, howling, growling, crying out
their empathy, surging all around.

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