By Bob Houghtaling

At Hometown Elementary School,
A place not far away,
Children were coming back inside

Following some recess play.

After a brief refreshing snack,
Then drinks from plastic cups,
Students were all asked to share
“What I’ll be when all grown up!”

Nicole and Armani spoke of athletics.
Tom and Sulina liked outer space.
Garrett wanted to be a fireman
And Shauna described owning mother’s place.

When nearly all had spoken,
Teacher was appreciative of the share,
Up stood little Macie Brown,
The last to leave her chair.

“When grown up years from now
I want to be without friends –
Perhaps homeless, or addicted,
Maybe illness without end.

I’d reside in a shelter
Or prison better still,
Growing up all alone
Beneath the evening’s chill.”

Returning back to her seat
Classmates turned and stared
While Macie was merely wondering
if anyone truly cared.

Today there are many children
In each and every town –
Sitting in their tiny chairs
Who hear the words of Macie Brown.


Bob Houghaling works the the drug counselor for the Town of East Greenwich.