A little girl walks by.
She looks to be about
11, with brown hair and
She looks tired, but wise.
at everything. Always thinking.
She doesn’t have any friends.
She walks right past me.
She smiles to herself.
She walks up the street to her library.
She goes there often.
She reads. Everything.
She has friends in books, food, money, things she pretends she has.
She leves the library, holding her book close to her.
Returning to deep thought,
she walks home.
Her name is Francie.
I see her again
another day, as she goes
into a store.
She looks proud, with a high head, and a hand closed around her new coin.
I hate how happy she is.
I hate it because it makes me feel selfish.
is what she is proud of. Enough to buy her
a little candy.
I can’t understand
feeling proud for so little.
She goes into her knickel and dime store.
I only see a 99 cent store, the one that is there now.
What a change.
I wonder what she would think, looking at her store.
Now a 99 cent store.
Would she feel ashamed for being so proud of her nickel?
I stop. And just wait for her to come back.
I see her again, she is walking
into the house.
It must look old, and small.
Maybe it looks
like the houses here now
Small, brown, with stair in the front.
It’s two floors.
And she is there, looking out
of the window on the second floor.
She opens the window, and sits
out on the fire escape.
I imagine that her tree
*is there, big, and green.
So no one can see her.
She has her book again. And now she is reading.
She looks peaceful.
And innocent. And if she ever looked lonely, just now, she doesn’t.
I see her again now.
She is crying. All alone.
In her room.
she is dressed in her normal outfit.
but she has new black shoes on now.
She didn’t change for bed, but feel right onto it and cried.
I feel like going to her.
And telling her I’m sorry.
Or staying with her,
sleeping over, and talking all night long.
I want to comfort her.
But she is only a book character.
There was Francie again. She has her little sister with her.
They are wondering the streets.
she looks at her old stores.
A deli, a typewriter store, A carpet store, a densities office, a fish market, a laundry store, A liquor store, she is smiling, remembering all sorts of memorys.
Francie looks sad, but strong. Sober.
She is leaving her town.
And isn’t coming back.
She takes her sister’s small chubby hand.
They walk down a street and disappeare.
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The story was posted on 0000-00-00