A Grim Tale

The floor creaks under weight. A figure
dissolves at second glance. A child’s
imagination. Underneath, rotting
corpses lurk to feed on discarded socks.
Kids sleep alone or in pairs on wooden
bunk beds. Parents vanish beyond the exit.

A decorated soldier stands guard at the exit.
Teddy bear is sworn to protect, such a figure
can be comforting. In the corner, a wooden
rocking horse provides little chance for children
to outrun aliens with big black eye sockets.
Unfortunately, many children end up spoiled rotten

science experiments. Imagine smelling rotten
intestines splattered all over the floor and the exit.
As for the occurrence of missing socks
I’m told they are gobbled up. The guy they fingered
had eight feet. Police say he poses no threat to children
who wear pajamas with feet. Any monster would

get confused finding the tops of those. He would
tug on your toes trying to get his rotten
hands on your fashionable child-
sized pajamas. My father says they don’t exist
at all but no one knows for sure. I figure
anything is possible, so I never wear nice socks.

At hospitals everyone wears blue sticky socks
that aren’t supposed to slip on tile or wood.
I suppose their insurance companies figure
sick people might sue. That would be a rotten
thing to do. I guess that’s why lawyers exist
(grown-ups can’t get along) even if children

never pretend to be lawyers. Kids
might stick their fingers in sockets.
That’s why little plastic plugs exist.
Without them 5% of children would
die leaving the other 95% rotting
away at dull occupations—a shocking figure—

What would happen if adults tried to co-exist
with ten-year-olds with rotten teeth and dirty socks?
I figure we might never outgrow being children.

Thoughts?

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