Long ago, but not so long as to forget,
Lived a welfare whelp, christened Dumb Annette.
Her clothes torn, her daddy's arms cheaply tatted,
Her mama's chain-smoking, and extensions ratted.
Dumb Annette sat silently on the porch all day long,
While hoodlum spawn screeched, "DA, sing us a song!"
Yet there she sat, quietly, not making a peep,
Staring into her persecutors, with eyes dark and deep.
First mocking, then screaming till they couldn't anymore,
Waiting for Dumb Annette's daddy to crash through the door.
Trailer trash scattered, like cockroaches bathed in light,
Knowing Dumb Annette's daddy would scream at her all night.
Eventually DA's mommy would surely step in,
Resulting in more extensions for her hair, freshly ripped thin.
"It's her own fault." Tsked the frequent passerby’s.
"The way she just sits there with that harsh look in her eyes."
Rumors are flies that land in a fresh pile of manure,
Opinions that give birth, maggots grow, truth shrinks fewer.
But maggots purify wounds, and flies don't spread speculation,
Human's mere mentioning of Annette's name caused violent elation.
"I hear she's feral," spat Butch Batram, "Don't know how to say a word."
"Listen up now," shouted James, "She's got rabies! That's what I heard!"
Back and forth, left and right, diagonally and upside down,
Nasty words filtered the air, enough to make one drown.
All in front of Dumb Annette, sitting placidly, alone,
Soaking in these wicked statements, a soul truly unknown.
Though the current shouts of daddy slapping mama stung her ears,
Was she finally ready to speak, after a baker's dozen years?
Tomorrow, she decided, tomorrow would be that day,
The day that she, Dumb Annette, finally had something to say.
Dawn shone early next morning, it's horizon red like fire,
Annette's mouth dry as cotton, would they all think her a liar?
Tiptoeing out of bed, she dressed carefully, making no sound,
Nothing seemed more terrifying than by her daddy being found.
At the edge of the porch, chewing her nails, to take her furthest step,
Forbidden to leave the rickety jail, her father's promise she had always kept.
On that morning, the air breathed cautiously, an occasional tense pause,
Gasping for oxygen Annette jumped wildly, like a cat extending its paws.
Landing, with a soft thud, on a patch of garbage, dirt and weeds,
Both thrilled and tremulous, hastily searching about for her only needs.
Finding a stick, sturdy and thick, the sun just giving enough light,
Dumb Annette bent down, thrust the tip in the soil and began to write.
Scribbling fiercely, heart racing, her tattered shirt colored nearly black,
But stopping was no longer an option, and neither was turning back.
Words formed like magic in the dirt, the stick a wand you could call it,
Feverish grins escaped from her mouth; her eyes once black now blazed lit.
It must have been nearly eight a.m. when the first bike went zooming past,
Seconds later were squeals of rubber, Dumb Annette had a reader at last.
"What's this here in the dirt?" Rambled Tom Dickley, slapping his face,
Another came, then more and more showed, to see what had taken place.
Birds tweets were outdone, by the rising hum, swelling with confusion,
Dumb Annette stood tall, just feet away, surely this was some illusion?
Sweaty, but proud as a peacock, Dumb Annette pointed down at the dirt,
However, people were too busy glaring at the state of her pants and shirt.
"Just look at her!" An old woman screeched. "Not even fit for trailer trash!"
While rumbling began in the crowd, the sky also started to crash.
Dumb Annett looked up expecting the sun, but found light raindrops instead.
Panic set in, if people didn't look, all her knowledge would soon be dead.
Waving frantically Annette pointed and stomped, which put the crowd in a fit,
"She's just like a simpleton ape at the zoo, dancing around a dirt pit!"
Tears were camouflaged by rain, as well as her message to the world.
Mud seeped up, and dreams sank down, and that's when the first rock was hurled.
Dumb Annette's ears rang, her eyes saw stars, even though it was not yet noon,
"Get out of our sight you stupid pig, you'd better run out of here soon!"
No chance to run ever came, calloused hands wrapped around her neck,
Dumb Annette flashed back to the first time when her speech he decided to wreck.
Dumb Annette was actually dumb, but the people were sadly mistaken,
For Annette was dumb, not in a secular sense, but because her voice had been taken.
Annette was smart, loving and kind, but her parents made stupid decisions,
Left alone to survive, no communication skills, Annette lived on welfare provisions.
The truly stupid pointed and laughed, calling Annette what they actually were,
Every day using so-called intelligent phrases, to laugh at and look down at her.
Who is to say what stupid is, but those who explain are those who speak out loud,
Perhaps when we learn more about what stupid is, we will learn to not make a sound.
Might Annette have had the knowledge of scholars? The crowd never looked down low,
Annette was dragged back inside, some say she died, but no one will really ever know.