outside

The little girl stood outside in the winter frost

Across the street and under a streetlight

So that he could see her

waiting waiting waiting.

The man had told her to stay.

He told her that he would know when she arrived

Because he could read her mind.

So she thought only about how much

She wanted him to come outside

So she could go inside and be warm.

But he did not come and she

waited waited waited

Until she could no longer feel her toes

And her face and hands were smeared with snot.

Hours passed and he still did not come.

When she thought she might pee her pants

And pass out from hunger

She walked home slowly, stiff with cold and fear

That the man might be angry because he had said

wait wait wait.

She crawled into bed in all her clothes.

Her belly growled and she wet her bed.

And no one seemed to notice.

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