The Girl with the Green Eyes


I remember you.

Those eyes you have are like fire. They haunt me, yet I cannot bring myself to take my own eyes off of the impossible flame of yours.

My mother, after she was through, handed me the latest copy of National Geographic. Even at the early age of six, you have elicited the same reaction from me as adults. It was your picture that was on the cover of the very magazine that I was holding in my elementary-school hand.

 I looked at you, the girl with the green eyes. Beautiful. Yet extremely melancholy. You were young once. That was when the photographer had taken your very first picture so many years ago. Eyes widened in the strangest curiosity. The pain of your past made transparent by the look you gave the strange man with the light skin.

Seventeen years later, you had finally been found. Same look. Same agony. Same…fire.

Yet, different in many ways. There was now rough skin on your cheeks. Possibly, scars. A sense of regret and hopelessness. All trace of innocence and youth had been banished in time. And, unbelievably, more despair was present in the face that had always been beautiful.

To this day, your story is captivating to me. I wonder what you have been through. What you have seen. The losses you have endured. The home you were forced to run away from. 

There are no words that I can say to you, except that I am sorry. How could I have not known that you existed sooner?  I should have been more willing to push back the egotistical view I held and extend my view to the other worlds that exist. Other worlds like yours.

I will always remember you. 



This poem was written about the Afghan girl featured on the cover of National Geographic. 

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