Four pairs of shoes lined up in the hall way.

He counts them as he walks past.

Daddy's boots and Mummy's pumps,

His school shoes and her little boots.

She never wore them but they still have their place,

A constant reminder of the things that never were.

Mummy tried to tidy them away, with the rest of her things,

but he wouldn't let her, he was scared he'd forget.

Not that anyone would know that,

he wouldn't mention her, it made Mummy cry.

So her boots stood in the hall, next to his own.

He would take them sometimes,

if he was sad or lonely,

he would tell her all of his secrets,

as though she was still there.

The first few weeks were perfect, from what he remembers.

He remembers Mummy showing him the scan,

his little sister that never was.

He remembered counting her tiny toes when she was asleep,

and tickling her tummy so that she would stop crying,

he would spend hours with her tiny fist wrapped around his finger.

Until they took her away,

they wouldn't let him see her in the hospital,

so he sat outside and drew,

he drew her pictures of the sky and the sea and the moon,

of the park where he would teach her how to ride her bike,

and the first book he would read to her.

He wrote her letters of what was going to happen,

when she got better.

How they were going to play in the park,

and how he was going to teach her everything.

He would post them under the big white doors,

or give them to the nurses that passed him by,

on the way to the white room.

He would sometimes sing to her, through the door,

or he would read stories aloud in case she could hear.

Then one day, the nurses came out and picked him up,

they were crying as they held him tight,

Someone told him that his sister had gone to a special place.

Somewhere that he couldn't go.

He asked if it like the hospital room he wasn't allowed in,

The nurse smiled and stroked his hair.

'Somewhere better' she replied.

And he believed her.

Now he's grown up, with a wife and a son.

But still in the hall are four pairs of shoes.

His boots, his wife's pumps,

his sons school shoes, and her little boots.

In the spare room there's pictures and letters on the walls,

drawn by a little boy,

Who just wanted to see his sister, wearing her little boots.