More than four children
die each day in the
United States due to
abuse or neglect.
                                           - childhelp.org
                                                                                                               

From the Executive Director

April has lots to offer. In addition to being Child Abuse Prevention Month, it’s also National Poetry Month! There are so many wonderful pieces I could share, from sweet to grit, uplifting to melancholic — each from celebrated poets with backgrounds and experiences as unique as their work. Yet, I’d rather share a piece not from a big name with a big fan following, but from one of our own CASA teens with a big history of abuse, and a future that is aging out of the system, alone. Her words — in a voice both raw and authentic — pay homage to this month's celebration of the power of poetry. Read on.

~ Marla

Be aware here and there,
I hate living life in fear, being scared is like a hobby in this world we share,
Die, die, die, we're all dying inside and we're unaware of this disease we share,
from sex to drugs the condom that popped and the needle that dropped.

And the pain — it all doesn't come from the rain,
whether black or white we all feel it the same,
and it's a shame we can't unite as one to stop the name with the gun.

And now abuse, not knowing our youth, many hiding the truth, that they can't let loose,
and you see the signs but wanted to mind your own business you go blind,
knowing you could've saved another life from this horrible crime.

And then there is love, and if we can't find it at home we'll search somewhere else.
It may not be a commitment or the best but at this point we're willing to settle for less,
not knowing what this stranger may contain and barely knowing their name,
we take the living of life in vain.
 
Unaware of the abuse to the youth, the die in our eye and the pain from the rain,
to us all love feels the same.
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