from USA Today:
"Williams wrote "About a Little Girl" in 1921 after diagnosing Michael and Carl Lund's mother with leukemia when she was 11. Along with his literary career, Williams had a medical practice in Rutherford, N.J.
Lund said Williams was a friend of his mother's family, and thought after reviewing medical tests that she was likely to die. The poem contrasts a happy, outgoing "angel" of a child with the death he believed would overtake her.
As it turned out, Williams' diagnosis was wrong and the child, Marian Macy, lived until 2002 — two weeks short of 92. The poem, which Williams signed with his initials, WCW, was passed from Marian's mother to Marian, then to her two sons."
"The poem, which has a misspelling in the word "balloon," will be published for the first time by the Southeast Missouri State University. Its contents are not being released until then."
full story here.