The bus was moving slowly through the mountain roads,
The blue in the sky had bleeding purple spots,
Daylight was receding into the arms of the cold night,
Wrapped in a woolen shawl, the mother held her daughter tight.

Sitting next to her mother, the child felt safe,
So she rested her face on the mother’s lap,
The child was a dreamer, had always been,
The child imagined the outside passing scene.

The lights inside the bus were turned off,
The travelers zoned out slowly into their own worlds,
The child went into a quick sweet slumber,
A little space between her back and waist was exposed to cold and felt numb.

The bus was surfing in the moonlight in the child’s mind,
Reminiscing of the vacay days made her feel light,
Then it happened first slow and then fast,
A cold claw seemed to grip her tiny waist.

Jolted out of sleep, her head shook out a bit,
The bus was still surfing, and humans were asleep,
She snapped at the claw with her tiny hands,
It was not a cold claw and not a tiny one.

The man in the back seat was leaning against the window,
His head was covered with a white shawl, and his hand was gripping the child,
Through the space between the seat and the window, he had managed to push his hand forward,
The child turned white and cold and could not fathom the reason for this tease.

Did the child not utter a word to the mother? No, she did not.
She knew this abuse will not be caught.
So she stayed like that for the rest of the journey,
Never turning back again to look at the man, and never did life go back to normal again.

This was the first of its kind of what vulnerability feels like,
And as life happened, this became quite a regular,
No physical abuse, thankfully, but some more sad tales,
For the timid child, being vulnerable remains unchanged.

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