A Child’s Flip flop

A Child’s Flip Flop

From my seat on the bus

Held up in heavy traffic for what seems like an eon

I spy a child’s flip-flop, garishly green

Discarded on the urban street

What story could it tell?


One of a clumsy refuse collector maybe –

The rejected shoe escaping as he emptied the bin?

Or a child‘s dropped school bag

At the bus stop – the errant shoe missed

As she gathered up her spilled belongings

Jumping hurriedly on the now-arrived bus?


Maybe even jetsam from a car accident –

Thrown out of the window with the force of the impact?


Or a parent’s ferocious fight that had sprawled out

In to the street,

The flip flop wearing child alternatively

Clinging to her mother’s skirt or

Clawing at her father’s jeans, crying in fear

Wanting one of them to notice her distress

As she stood between them,

Terrified and alone in her anguish


Then being snatched up from the floor

By her still screaming mother

Who threw the flip flop

After the father, as he walked off

Shouting obscenities behind him as he left?

What a story it could tell.


But wait – what’s this?

A little scruffy dog scrambles in view

Scoops up the flip flop like a chew toy in his mouth

Then dashes back to a little boy in holey jeans and wild hair


He pats the dog on the head

Takes the flip flop and throws it again

Watches the dog rush off after it –

As he stands there beaming –

Wearing the remaining garishly green flip flop


© Kate McClelland 2015©



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