Child Within
by Alexandra Carr-Malcolm

I see the child within you,
with your boyish short fair hair.
I hold my arms out to you,
I want to show I care.

They may have left you
broken, bewildered and abused,
but I will never leave you
feeling neglected, sad and used.

You stand there like a ghost child,
one sock up and one half down.
too sad, too shy, too quiet,
Your face a pale, sad, frown.

Your little dress is crass and short,
your shoes are scuffed and worn,
your toys are few and far between,
your bear, one-eyed and torn.

I see you quietly playing.
keep out the grown-ups way,
don’t let them know of what you think,
they cannot make you say.

Come child, sit here upon my knee,
Let me soothe away the pain;
cry out your little heart to me,
they can’t hurt you again.

Hush child, no need to cry,
I will wipe away your tears.
just hold my hand and follow me,
I can soothe away your fears.

Hold strong, my love, rest in my arms;
be still and do not weep.
Listen to my lullaby,
I’ll guard you whilst you sleep.

Be brave and bide your time Karen,
your future may be bright.
Hold the pain, the memories,
take up your pen and write.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: My birth name was Karen; in the 1980s I changed my name by deed poll to Alexandra. I had a very difficult and dramatic childhood. I was recounting childhood stories to a friend and she said — if you could meet yourself as a child, what would you do or say? This inspired the poem. I find writing poetry extremely cathartic; it helps to chase away the ghosts of the past.


Alexandra Carr-Malcolm
 was born and raised in Chesterfield, Derbyshire. She now lives in Yorkshire, and works as a freelance British Sign Language Interpreter within the Yorkshire region. Alex has been featured in five collaborative anthologies by Dagda Publishing, where part of the proceeds are donated to worthy charities. Her first anthology Tipping Sheep (the right way) was released in 2013. Currently, Alex is working on her second anthology to be released later this year. Her poems can be found on her blog