One of the worst feelings in the world is looking into a child's eyes and knowing they need help but they are too afraid to tell or have been told not to tell.
I have been that child; the one who was too afraid to speak about the pain and hardship I was enduring personally because I was told that my family would be harmed if I told. My mother had to force me to open my mouth and tell my truth. When I finally did, relief rushed over me, the tears fell, and help came.
There are millions of children in this world whose youthful spirits have been broken by the effects of hunger, physical abuse, mental abuse, homelessness, financial hardships, bullying, absentee parents, divorce, acts of violence and war, and death.
Their eyes water with fear.
With closed mouths, they scream out to you.
HELP. PLEASE HELP.
But there is no sound.
Crying out to you, reaching for your hand.
Though their hands are clasped and arms crossed.
Are you okay? What can I do? Do you need help?
I can hear their hearts beating.
Brother. Sister. A small glance.
How do they know?
The pinch, the kick, under the table.
Don't say anything or they'll take us away.
They'll separate us. We'll never see each other again.
Don't say anything.