The Forgotten Girls

the orphan children surrounded me
clay prisoners of solitary
their cracked fingers in my yellow hair
gripped my hands as if they held
their lost families’ photographs
that laid broken by their tilted dressers
the bravest touched my camera
begged in broken English
to release the body into her hands
I let go and watched
her transformation as
the girls encircled her
with a bonded hum
each click flashed prayers
to their lost relatives
that they not be forgotten
when my visit came to an end
so began the procession
of goodbyes and tears
not their first nor our last
captured photos of love
they won’t be allowed to keep
once they are sold back into
the deep red light of the streets

 

 

 

 

Chante Wolf served twelve years active duty and two years inactive Reserves, in the U.S. Air Force. Her service includes deployment to Saudi Arabia for Desert Shield/Storm in 1991. Her war journal was published in The Veterans Book Project: Objects for Deployment. Other writings, photography, and her military story have appeared in various publications, including Costs of Freedom: An American Anthology of Activism, Compassionate Rebel Revolution, War Fever Syndrome, The Pulse, Main Street Rag, and MN Women’s Press.