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too young

on the inside
i think the little boy
must be crying.
he looks wearily at me
with his huge, shadowed eyes
blinking vapidly like a
confused baby fawn.
his dry lips are drawn
downwards and parted
slightly.
his soft, rasping
breaths are that
of an elderly man.
he reaches weakly towards
me with the fingers of a
skeleton. his arm drops
in defeat and exhaustion.
I softly take his thin hand
in my own
and he smiles wanly.
it pains me to look into his
delicate face
that is too emaciated
for a child
as young as he.
where is the glow of health
the roundness of hearty
cheeks… the bright laughter,
the shining eyes? he has been
deprived of the health
and happiness every little
boy should have. his head
bobs and falls softly against my
shoulder. I feel
the heat of his bare skin
against my own. I look
at him, praying for a
sheen of perspiration
but there is none.
his heart is beating in his
chest twice as fast as my own.
I feel my heart speed up
and it surpasses his.
on the inside
I think the little boy
must be crying.
as his breathing slows
as his hand goes limp
in my own
and his body succumbs
to that which only the
old should have to endure
i cry the tears
that he doesn't have.



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