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By Mariana Llanos

Invisible children fall
through the cracks of the system
like Alice in the rabbit hole.
But these children won’t find
an eat-me cake or a drink-me bottle.
They won’t wake up on the lap
of a loving sister.
They’ll open their eyes on the hand
of a monster called Negligence
who’ll poke them with its sharp teeth
and bait them with its heartless laughter,
like a wild thing in a wild rumpus.
But the children won’t awake
to the smell of a warm supper,
nor will they find a purple crayon
to draw an escape door or a window.
Instead they’ll make a mirror
of a murky puddle on the city street
which won’t tell them they’re beautiful
but it’ll show their scars, as invisible to others
as these children are.

Source: Poetry (March 2021)

  • Living
  • Social Commentaries

Poet Bio

Mariana Llanos
Mariana Llanos is a Peruvian-born writer based in Oklahoma. She has published several children’s books including Run, Little Chaski (Barefoot Books, 2021) and Luca’s Bridge (Penny Candy Books, 2019). See More By This Poet

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