Hotel Room in Las Vegas

My parents entered the gambling hall.
I curled my fingers around the bedpost as I watched them disappear.
They had left me in a dangerous place,
leaking sounds of traffic from the window.
I was alone in that room and starving. The little men on the television screen looked like candy.
To keep myself distracted I yanked out strands of hair
and stared at the chandeliered ceiling until I cried. When my mother returned
I was wary as an animal. When my father looked at me
I put my face in my hands. I was ten and felt cold all over.
I was ten and knew what I had come from.

Alison Cao is a creative writing student at Milton Academy. She has been recognized by the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. She currently lives in Irvine, California, where she is social distancing with the rest of her family.

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