On Where the Children Go

A child going missing,
Is the hardest to bear,
They could be anywhere,
Taking the long way home,
Spending an extra hour at the park,
Wondering where the birds go after dark.
They could be at a friend’s house,
Or an after school program,
Or getting a ride from a friendly cop.

Yet what makes them drop,
Out of this world?
How many small shallow graves,
Are littered with bones and flesh,
The mess of organic matter
Mixing and matching,
For as far as the earth is concerned,
It is all the same

How many tiny tombs are trampled upon?
Defaced by the footsteps in parks,
On sidewalks and in hallways,
How many picnic blankets are spread over,
The secret resting place of a child,
As if being tucked in for bed,
Off to dream their eternal dreams?
Do we drive over them,
On our paved roads smoothed with oil and tar?
How far can we dig?
How far can we search?
In whose eyes does the truth lie?
In whose head does the knowledge rest?
Do we pass them on the street?
Do we work with them?
Live with them?
Love them?
Do they think about those tiny graves they’ve made,
Those final resting places,
Those secret tombs,
Do they visit them?
Are they sorry?
Are they haunted?

Are we haunted?
By the ghostly images of our young,
By the sheer weight of history,
The weight of our story,
The weight of those dying children,
Some of whom do not even have,
The luxury of tiny graves.

So step lightly,
Drive slowly,
And ponder on your luck:
You’re walking on the souls of the young,
Their small hands guiding your feet and tires,
To another day in space,
To another life that you may create.

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