The pale girl carried a dark bruise so fresh I flinched,
my breath drawn pity and a rush of outrage.
I wanted to hold a cold hand to her brow.
I wanted to grab her mother’s arm, demand to know how
she could let this violence fall .
The girl hit me with a hard stare.
I mumbled a smile, shuffled away with a guilty face
and grains of shame and grit in my hair.