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  • Carrie Esposito

The Children Left Behind

Updated: Jan 2, 2023

By Carrie Esposito

You believe them when they say they don't care.

They are convincing

with their heads on desks,

their slumped shoulders and cultivated blank stares,

their crumpled papers like sweaty, disfigured snowballs littering the floor

the very ones you labored over from rising sun to receding moon.

The way they rush out to high-five a friend in the hall or don't come at all,

the way they cross their arms and finally talk to you, only to ask when they will ever need this in life,

or worse, to use the bathroom.

The way they insist they will be their own boss,

the way they scoff at what you love so much you've dedicated your life to giving it to others.

But if you sit with them in the dark and quiet place, the lonely place, the all alone place,

maybe you will hear their truest story.

The one which aches and bleeds so clear that only if you look very closely

will you see the wound at all.


Carrie Esposito’s short stories have been published in The Georgia Review, Ruminate Magazine, Monkey Bicycle, The MacGuffin, King Ludd’s Rag by Malarkey Books, Pif Magazine, Everyday Fiction, Mused and Little Rose Magazine. Her stories have been a finalist for the William Van Dyke Short Story Prize, the Curt Johnson Prose Awards, the Grist ProForma contest and have received an Honorable Mention from Glimmer Train. Carrie is working on her novels and short stories, and she is an Educational Consultant for Teaching Matters in the NYC schools.

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