The woman stands there

like a beacon of lost hope,

a paragon for unwanted devotion;

I look at her as I run

and she stares at me with defeated eyes

and I see her loneliness and it slows me, but

I don’t stop, for

hope is perilous.

The child swings on rusted chains of childhood’s passed,

higher and higher, a precocious Icarus; it

squeaks and he squeals, then

bark chips explode,

her crumpled brow leads to

a heavy sigh, then

a final glance of pleading begs, not I

but, all and anon to

liberate her.

She turns and I linger,

then leave.