The Lost Child (Poetry Challenge)

The lost child

I see a child, not forgotten, but lost
Deep in the mists of time.

A child with serious eyes, a thinker.
A quiet child?
Quiet as a storm on a Summer afternoon!

A composer of first-class songs, the libretto of her life, sung sotto voce, as she goes about her business.
Grubby, chubby fingers probing everything, eager to learn, sure that she is the first to learn these wonders – a pioneer.
Where did she go, this girl so certain, so confident?
She was a princess, a pirate, an adventuress, always successful and always the hero.

Secure in the love of those around her, who told her it was so.


© ellieg 2023
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critique and comments welcome.
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I don’t recognize the child is it a famous person? this has great potential, but in my opinion needs to be laboriously rephrased in some parts without necessarily changing many or any words just simply to be placed later or earlier than where they’re right now.
It would be helpful if I knew who the child is, and if famous read about her life.

Very glad I read such a promising poem for a challenge on UKA. Feels as if we are slowly getting back our mojo today and that’s nice.



okay i have to read it as an autobiographical poem too.

you can certainly do more than I thought then, i think you have a good poem to fiddle with for years and that’s really amazing, few of my poems had this “work in progress” quality – editing a poem like yours is like growing a bonsai !

it’s already beautiful and it has the perfect gardener tending to its natural beauty, you!

 <span title="Pro Commenter" style="font-size : small; color: red;">***</span><p>

Quick note, Ellie. Don’t think others are recognizing your poem as a challenge entry. Suggest you write (poetry challenge) next to your title. I just made room for the inclusion on mine, too. This was always the way we used to id ourselves as entrants, until Richard recently made special categories for both challenges. I’m finding people are not first checking those special categories though, from what I can see. One of the several front page problems! Have thought lots about your piece, but too exhausted to focus right now. Very late here and must be up and out early.… Read more »

 <span title="Pro Commenter" style="font-size : small; color: red;">***</span><p>

Your title aroused some expectation in me for something to be missing or lost to the speaker during childhood, a wistfulness, perhaps deep sadness over what precipitated such loss. I’ve written a poem of that nature myself in the past – and coincidently it was in response to a challenge on another site! But so much for my perspective on life; I was wrong in these expectations. Line by line you reveal a spunky, not to be held down girl child who is bursting with energetic curiosity and a boundless confidence in herself, grubby fingers and all. And what a… Read more »

 <span title="Pro Commenter" style="font-size : small; color: red;">***</span><p>

“The child is father (or in this case, mother) of the man(or woman)” and I was incredibly lucky to have parents, who supported and loved me unconditionally,

Yes, the heart of your poem, isn’t it? But I’d never thought of looking at our upbringing in that way. A different ( and enlightening) perspective. Who wrote that? Confess I have no idea!


The child in the picture seems to be very determined and has a fearless quality about her. Your poetry reflects those qualities in its determination to be fearlessly expressive in bringing a lost child to life through words. The two middle lines beginning with ‘A composer of first class songs…’ and ‘Grubby, chubby fingers probing…’ seem to have run away on you a bit. I understand the enthusiasm driving them, but they need to be tamed (again, just a bit). Overall, a worthy contribution to the challenge and I look forward to reading more of your work.


Good one! The concept of something hidden or lost has come across very well. I wrote a flash with the name ‘The child is the mother of the woman’ sometime ago. Although different from the thematic point of view, I could connect with the story. The information about finding the picture in the wallet of the father is so endearing and heart wrenching. Good work. Blessings.

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