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The Things They Left Behind

They left the silence of a fuzzy slipper squeaky toy

with tattered bunny ears.

They left puzzle bowls and puppy pads,

only half a sleeve.

They left a pink leash with gray bones,

skating down its length, and

the ache that’s an empty orthopedic pad.

They left a barely used bottle of

Burt’s Bees animal anti-itch, and

a pearl studded choker, overstretched.

They left a sack of Foster Squad waste bags,

and a broken Furminator that left the

long bronze hairs burrowed in the sofa.

They left an I Love Me Some Bitches jacket and a

Dogs over Dudes t-shirt, collars cut out.

They left Adopt Me bandannas, yellow, green and blue.

They left the pain that’s a dried chunk of Pill Pocket,

caught under the cabinet’s depths, me, they left me,

and a single tiny baby tooth.

Kelley Swan splits her time between a life nestled in the mountains in New Hampshire and the mangroves of Florida. A menagerie of animals, both adopted and fostered, make her every day a worthwhile adventure. A writer and poet, she’s also studying creative writing at the University of Central Florida.

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