Julie no longer plays into the big hand,
The heavy hand, the upper hand,
The hand that silences, shames, smacks.

She used to plead, “Pick me! Pick Me!”
In a rush, she’d cast her heart into pools of abandonment—
Pearls to swine, like clockwork.

They could count on her to bear the secrets,
The stains, the scarlet paragraphs and
Chapters that chronicled cries and crises.

But in the hour of need, past half the darkness
The second hand clicked into place. . .
Safe hands and second chances surfaced.

This is her day in the sun. Love won.
Flourishing, fostering freedom and hope,
Counting on truth—not time—to heal her wounds.

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About the Author

Julie Wasmund Hoffman is an educator with Springfield Public Schools in Illinois. She is also an adjunct professor in the Teacher Education Program at University of Illinois Springfield. Her research interests include urban education, social and emotional learning, children’s literature, and empathy. Her passion is to help students who have experienced trauma find healing, resilience, and empowerment through their own writing and the writing of others.

Julie Hoffman
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