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In the Silence

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A doll dangled from her hands,
with eyes and mouth single strands of string,
and hands without fingers, feet without toes.
“Mommy?” the child whispered
to mahogany skyscrapers.

Nodding to herself, she turned
away. Down a wide tiled hall with bare walls,
towards the split in her way.

She hesitated, though she knew her path,
and a man emerged from the left,
from behind boxes piled high.
“Daddy,” the girl exclaimed, her little voice
still quiet. Always quiet.

The man’s eyes flickered to her face
then back to the far door.
“Has your mom come out today?”
Her head shook. The doll swung. 

“Have you named it yet?” he asked,
and silence stretched between them
as he eyed the doll. It wasn’t ragged yet.
There was no way to know that it had already
seen death.

Again, his eyes darted to hers, and,
impatient at the sight of her furrowed brow, he added,
“the doll” with a wave of his hand.

“Yes,” she said. “His name is Beary.
Because he’s a bear.”
The man blinked, but he watched the wood,
“Beary? You’re usually more creative.”
“Mm,” the little girl mumbled. “But she was only five.
Maybe Beary is his actual name.”

Her father just walked away,
not bothering to acknowledge
that Beary’s new owner
was only four.






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