Voices Against Indifference Initiative

A Decade Inspired by Elie Wiesel

sponsored by

The Leon Levine Foundation

Sandra and Leon Levine

One Tear At a Time

By: Alexa Lambert

8th grade, Charlotte Country Day School

I walked down the street,
in summer’s heat,
and around the corner I saw,
a sight that should be against the law.
A group of boys crowded ‘round
a victim like a pack of hounds,
then one glimpsed my head
and they turned tail and fled.
changing the world,
one step at a time.
A little girl was standing there,
two pigtails in her hair,
a piece of paper in her hands,
artwork carefully planned.
Her head rose to look at me,
then her gaze settled on my knee,
in a voice that seemed to die,
she said one simple word: “why?”
changing the world,
one word at a time.
The paper fluttered to her shoes,
not in one piece, but two,
a house and trees, torn in half,
an echo of the boys seemed to laugh.
I went to my knees to look,
into a face that badly shook,
a single tear slid down her cheek,
the look on her face was bleak.
changing the world,
one tear at a time.
I gathered up the pieces,
with my hands I smoothed the creases,
and whispered in her ear,
a plan that stopped the tear.
Suddenly a smile spread,
a new picture ready in her head,
we walked off to spread the cheers,
spread the joy, and stop the tears
changing the world,
one smile at a time.
changing the world,
one step,
one word,
one tear,
one smile,
at a time
a responsibility that I’ve made mine