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…empty shoes… written by Toni L.A. Cross

children playing on a swing-set

a little girl with bouncy blond curls

says soberly:

when I grow up,

I want to be a doctor.

I’m gonna cure cancer!
poof. she’s gone. where did she go?

all i can see where she stood

are her little pink sneakers and a tiny scroll.

a dirt smudged boy

plays in the sand

when i grow up, declares he

i’ll be the president.

i’ll make sure there are enough jobs

for people like my dad

and no more fighting about things that make sense.

poof. he’s gone. where did he go?

all i can see where he stood

are his little scuffed tennis shoes and a tiny scroll.

a serious looking set of tow-headed twins

each trying to swing higher than the other

one says to the other

someday, you and i will find a cure for aids

and people like our cousin

wont be born ready to die.
poof. they are gone. where did they go?

all i can see on the empty shifting swings

are two matching sets of mary-janes and a tiny scroll.

now everything is silent

and this playground resembles a graveyard

scattered with scrolls and little empty shoes

instead of tombstones or crosses

i pick up a scroll

and read these words

written in what looks like dried blood:

i was never born.


About ReallyDoComeTrue

My name is Toni and I was raised on a farm in the far north of the United States. I love to read and write and I hope to use those hobbies in a greater way in the days to come. One of my passions is using whatever influence I have to make a difference in the world.

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