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In the rundown little house where her family currently lives,
the fourteen-year old glances obediently at her glaring daddy,
nodding her head in quiet compliance
to his usual horrible demands of her for the evening.
Not to acquiesce would incur his utter wrath,
and that is something she has learned well by now to avoid.
Things are not like the old days, when she was twelve,
feeling so lost, and he would lavish her with little gifts:
bracelets with charms, cute purses, chocolate candies. . .
With warm aqua eyes, he’d smile his approval
as she whirled around the room, modeling a pretty dress for him.
In those days when her world had fallen apart, he’d taken her in.
His voice would softly soothe her then, chasing away her every fear.
Back to reality. Daddy’s voice now is laced with menace.
And his eyes are ice blue marbles staring through her.
“Do what wifey says,” he instructs her at the door
as she leaves with four other sisters and the one of legal age, her sister-wifey.
Leaning in to her, his breath like chill wind on her nape, he whispers,
“And you better be VERY good with your dates this time.”
The young girl, in high heels, slit skirt, and heavy makeup, has exited the door
when her daddy barks commands to his helper in the living room, and then
Daddy exits too, but through the garage, where a Mercedes Benz is parked.
He drives alone, a short trip across town to his other house -
the one with manicured lawn and garden and a large pool out back -
the large beautiful house where a real wife and a real daughter
“How was your day?” his beautiful young wife gushes
as he crosses the threshold in his expensive business suit.
“Oh, just another day at the office,” he quips,
leaning in to give her a soft kiss. Then his young daughter
comes bounding down the stairs, broadly grinning.
“Daddy, look at the new dress you bought me!”
She twirls with adolescent glee.
The man, with blue eyes dancing, looks his fourteen-year-old daughter
up and down. “Sweetie, you know I don’t like you wearing lipstick yet.”
“Oh, Daddy,” she teases, “I’ll be dating soon.”
“Afraid not,” he lovingly chides her. “Those boys will just have to wait
at least for two more years. For now, you are Daddy's little girl."
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