Fiction: 'Empty Inside'

Empty Inside



There is nothing there, it’s hollow and stark and no one

can understand how this has happened

It was once so full


But little by little, things were taken away and not returned

His father, his mother, a friend, and then someone he didn’t know very well

who was only around for a short time


They all took what they wanted, never mentioning that he was running low

Never asking, light coming on quickly when they wanted and going out        

quickly after


He meant to keep track, but it was too hard

Too many people coming and going and coming

He was foolish to trust that those around him, thinking (hoping?) that those who loved             

him would take, but leave enough so that he still had what he needed

Maybe even bring something back, replace what was gone


Now he stands, wide open, the inside there for all to see

A crumb here, maybe, something spilled over there

A week-old bologna sandwich, in a zip-lock bag long unzipped, standing guard

He needs to go grocery shopping


Matthew Herring

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