Her face was smudged and dirty,
and her hair was a tangled mess;
the kids at school all snickered
at her worn and tattered dress.

She was the child of migrant workers,
and her name was Rosa May;
she just hung her head in sadness,
wishing she could run away.

Her tummy growled from hunger;
she never had enough to eat,
and she came to school that winter
with no shoes upon her feet.

Now in the classroom she attended
was a child whose name was Joan,
who really was quite lonely
with no sibling of her own.

Joan's parents were so wealthy
she never lacked for anything,
except companionship and sharing
that a sis would surely bring.

Joan showed her disapproval
of her classmates' attitude,
and her heart reached out to Rosa
because the children were so rude.

With a six-year-old child's thinking,
she formed a plan that day,
and that night she asked her mommy
to adopt sweet Rosa May.

"Mom, she can wear my dresses;
you know I have a lot."
Then Mom explained the system
and the reasons they could not.

Joan's little heart was broken,
but she smiled when Mommy said,
"We will pack some dresses for her
before we go to bed."

When they were finished packing,
Joan began to write a note;
with a childish hand she scribbled,
and this is what she wrote:

"Dear Rosa May, I wanted
so much to be your sis,
but Mom explained the system
and why we can't do this.

"So please accept these dresses
I give with love to you,
and there's a coat that's woolen
with a hat and mittens, too.

"I hope you like the clothing
and the pairs of winter shoes;
if not, come for a visit,
and I will let you choose.

"So since we can't be sisters,
best friends I'd like to be,
and you can ride my pony
when you come to play with me."

Now Joan is very happy,
and it has come to pass
that she and little Rosa
are the best friends in the class.

And Rosa, sad no longer,
now smiles from ear to ear,
because the thoughtless children
never laugh at her or jeer.

Although they're not blood sisters,
they are sisters of the heart,
and thanks to Joan's dear daddy,
they will not have to part.

You see, he owns a factory,
and when he heard of Rosa May,
he went and hired her daddy
so her family could stay.

~Copyright 1999 Ruth Gillis~

"Sisters Of The Heart" received a Second Place Award
in the November 1999 issue of Poet's Review.


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