The Milk Carton

jeanne grade1
Have you seen this child?
She was lost sixty-one years ago
She simply disappeared.
Her present status, I don’t know.
Should we put her on a milk carton
Or leave her to find herself?
Perhaps she is dead and buried or
Baking cookies with the Keebler elves.
Perhaps she dances with wild gypsies
Wild swirling dances that cover her defeat.
Are they bewitched by her radiance
Delighted by her naked madness,
Struck speechless by her insane
Howling beneath a winter’s moon?
The years have surely taken her
I don’t know where she went.
She used to live in my closet
Curled under the heater vent.
She was such a frightened girl
She seldom ventured out.
Could it be that she still exists
Although hidden from clear view?
You might catch a glimpse of her
When I smile at you.
Call her softly, do not shout.
She might dare to laugh or love
Unfolding the lost child inside out.

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