Sidewalk Chalk

i.

Every Thursday afternoon
I watch you play the playground.

You climb the bars and
twist the swings

singing pop songs with
mostly your own words.

 

ii.

Last Thursday, I brought
a box of sidewalk chalk

and we bent our necks making
a blue and orange mandala.

You had never known
that these were called mandalas

nor that you made them with
colors not meant to last.

 

iii.

Then we left, and I left them
the mandala, the chalk

remembering them later as
I tucked you into bed.

I knew you wouldn’t miss them so
I tried not to miss them either.

 

iv.

Today is Thursday.
It is the afternoon.

You and I are
playing the playground.

We lift each other
like monkeys in trees

below us, a menagerie
of chalk drawings.

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