Watching the Children Play

We struck up conversation easily,
custodians with no apparent lack
of common ground. (It seems he has a knack
for working on transmissions.) Suddenly
his focus drifted like a flooding sea.
Three names rang out, three children answered back.
His explanation made my jaw go slack:
“I need to hear their voices—I can’t see.”

He never saw my estimation rise
for one so fit, with miles and years to span,
whose handicap won’t bump him from the race.
I swallowed hard, then slowly raised my eyes—
two gluttons drinking in the scene—to scan
the playground, seeking out my grandson’s face.


2001 Mary Boren
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