Friday, August 15, 2008

95. The Voice

This piece is pure fantasy. I only know that this was my perception and the perception of many other people round the world.


She will visit her psychiatrist
In 2018.

'So what is depressing you, my dear?
The psychatrist will say.

And the young girl will answer

'It was like this..........

As a child I had a beautiful singing voice.
It was so lovely that I was asked
To sing a special song
At the Chinese Olympics.
My parents were excited.
The whole village was excited.
And I was the most excited of all.

I was given a pretty red dress to wear.
The local newspaper ran a story about me.
A big picture of me was on the front page.
I was called The Little Local Heroine.

It was all so lovely that I jumped on the bed.

They sent me a tape and a recorder to play it on.
I learnt every word of the song.
The tune was so pretty.
A special singing teacher
Came all the way from Beijing
To help me get everything right.

My parents were so pleased with me.
They even forgave me for not being a boy.
They were told they would get a special pension.
I didn't know what a pension was
But they were pleased.

Then, one day, a cross-looking man came to our house.
He wore a uniform.

'That child is not cute' he said.
He sounded very angry.

He made me open my mouth very wide.
He made a bad face when he looked at my teeth.

'And she has a flat face' he said.
'To represent the perfections of China
The child singer must be perfect.
This child is not perfect.
She is a failure.'

They took away my red dress
And my shiny shoes.
They took away my words and my music

And they took away my voice, on a tape.

The other children in the village laughed.
'Who did you think you were, anyway!' they said.
The older villagers smiled
Behind their hands at my parents.
'Your'e no better than us now' they said.

My picture was on the front page
Of the newspaper again.
The big letters said
'Local Girl Too Ugly For the Olympics.'
I looked at the picture and realised that I was ugly.
My teeth were crooked,
My face was flat.
I had never noticed it before.

All I had was a voice
And they had stolen that.

Now you know why I am depressed.
All my life people have pointed at me and said
'There's that girl who was
Too ugly for the Olympics!''

And the psychiatrist will say.

'I can do nothing for you.
Your hurt goes too deep for treatment'

She will leave.

And where will she go?


Lakshmi Bharadwaj said...

well, even i felt that what they did was very wrong. bought out so wonderfully in your poem. I loved that ipod song and 'come back gigi' as well. absolutely lovely.

Betty said...

That poor little girl. Imagine everyone in the world hearing that you are not cute enough.

Bear Naked said...

Thank you so much for this post.
This incident has made me so angry and sad that I don't want to watch or read anything more on the Olympics.
There are times that I really don't like this world we are living in right now.

Bear((( )))

the Albino Bowler said...

Hey. It was your page's layout that caught my eye. I like the way you let your thoughts flow. I've got to get back to my next chapter in the Kangaroo Rodeo, but just thought I'd say hello.


Anonymous said...

Seems to me that this is not just about one little girl, but about a nation that cares more about how it looks than about the condition of its people. Anon

Anonymous said...

The psychiatrist, clearly belonging to the side of the tyrany of a nation, is the villain here. Perhaps it is not a question of where will she go, but a question of what she can do for herself. She might find an inspirational book like Doris Lessing's TIME BITES (2004) more empowering IF she can leave. Her voice is what needs to be heard. Anon

Patty said...

Very nice tribute to the little girl that THEY said wasn't pretty enough, but so SAD they still used her voice with a pretty child's face. I hope the young girl knows that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and apparently THE beholders that said she couldn't appear were BLIND.

Mari Meehan said...

She will leave. And she will go where ever that beautiful little voice will carry her. Further, I would hope, than one more pretty face.

That would be my dream for her.


BEAUTIFUL....and oh so sad.

kallu said...

You are so empathetic Brenda to feel for this little girl- you noticed when so many didnt and cared enough to bring it our attention.
Keep going. you lighten up our lives.

Kat said...

I would reach to this little child... and tell " Darling, come to me... and sing in your pretty voice - This Uncle would listen to you Nightingale and look with pity at the millions who were unfortunate not to hear you..."

And would take her around the village and ask anyone making fun of her - "You think you are beautiful?" And make her laugh seeing them shrink away..!!!

Jeeez.. Brenda, you've made me bristle and incensed :))))