She sits and picks the wild daisies
that grow in the cracks on the sidewalk,
she thinks they must have broken it
as they began to grow.
Careful not to step on the ones
she leaves behind, she skips along
down the road until she reaches
what she calls the river.
Kneeling there, where the sidewalk
meets the road, she drops the petals
one by one into the raging rapids at her feet.
She watches them dance in the waters flow
until they reach the end of the line,
disappearing into the darkness she’s
too afraid to explore. She tells herself
it’s just a place where the rain
and candy wrappers go, but she’s uncertain.
There’s a tree on the other side of the road,
the neighbors say they’ll be cutting it down,
but they never do. She’s pondered a protest
like the ones on TV, but she doesn’t think
it will come to that, at least that’s what her
father says. She almost forgets to be afraid
as she reaches the creepy house on the corner,
thankfully, she reminds herself just in time.
This is her world, one end of the street
to the other. She doesn’t know it’s much bigger
than this, with dark places and creepy houses
and trees people don’t care about anymore.
She’s always careful not to step on the daisies,
she doesn’t yet know everyone else thinks
they’re nothing but weeds.
Crystal R. Cook