To the anon with the adopted sister who’s mistreated by her family.

I was one of the tens of thousands of children
who watched my arms shrink into toothpicks
and my cheeks grow tighter and tighter—
mama left me with fleas,
papa left me with scars,
Bellerive left me without any solutions
and the earthquake left me without any hope

Fair-skinned savior from the North,
the minute I saw the van
I vowed to never return—
Port-au-Prince treated us
like we were bastards,
we were never conceived.

I thought you were coming
to save me
from all of that.

I’m sorry if I have scared you
with these nightmares of Haiti,
I’m sorry if I’m no longer “cute”,
if your family thinks you made a big mistake
when you flew me up, I’m sorry,
I’m sorry if my lips cannot stretch
into a smile, I’m sorry I have caused you trouble,
but I did not chose to come with you,
I was a child who thought
she was being saved.

I’m sorry I don’t know
how to let you love me—
I have never known it
before you.

This is for you, girl. I hope this isn’t too far from what you were expecting.

-naira badawi

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