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The Yard

The Yard
by Tony Radford

On a quietblock in Antioch there lived an evil man,
a mind so vile – a pedophile who hatched a wicked plan.

Behind his place he’d make a space and plant a shrub or two,
a natural veil that might curtail a nosey-neighbor’s view.

He then commenced to build a fence to keep the sleuths at bay and in the back, he built a shack, for what – he wouldn’t say.

All the while, a precious child – a little blond-haired jewel
was in a rush to catch the bus to elementary school.

But in a flash – a captor dashed and grabbed her off the street,
a slamming door, an engine’s roar – the mission now complete.

The evening news, a search for clues, a girl with locks of gold
and volunteers from far and near – but now the trail was cold.

He took her back to the little shack and laid her on the floor,
he bound her hands and made demands, then left and locked the door.

Her shoes and clothes were all disposed to erase where she was from,
but he missed one thing, a tiny ring – her treasured gift from mom.

Trapped she’d be, no longer free – a slave in every sense,
a girl abused, defiled and used – a child with no defense.

Every day, she’d kneel and pray – her situation grave,
but no one came to break her chains – no chance of being saved.

A time or two, a random clue would bring the cops around,
they’d just inquire and then retire – they never searched the grounds.

After a while, she bore a child and then came number two,
both were girls with golden curls and eyes of satin-blue.

They’d never dared prenatal care – for no one else could know
of things he’d done to a child so young – or off to jail he’d go.

From shack she went to a makeshift tent and lived five-thousand days,
there she’d find she was less confined – she had two kids to raise.

A honking horn, impatient scorn – they’d best not make him late,
emotion flared as the girls prepared – he had no time to wait.

He was on parole for a prior role – was a task he had to do,
a monthly scene that was quite routine – so he brought the family too.

But a brand new face was on the case with questions never asked,
like how the three had come to be – despite his checkered past.

He swore the pair was in his care – some nieces that he had,
but his lie unfurled when the little girls referred to him as “dad”.

And number three looked young to be a mother and a wife,
they had concern – the need to learn why she was in his life.

They sat her down and gathered ‘round the interrogation booth
and queries thrown in gentle tone would then reveal the truth.

Her given name was not the same as the one she used today,
since detained, she’d been well-trained – “Allissa” was all she’d say.

She was so afraid she’d be portrayed as an unfit mom at best
and to speak was banned, but with pen in hand she’d honor their request.

She was really scared as she sat and stared at the three by five inch card,
then passed the note with the words she wrote –

my name is Jaycee Lee Dugard .



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