Published online with The Courtship of Winds, 2020

The children that run in the skeletal remains

of what was once a great public pasture

of ornamental grasses and trees decorating themselves

with bulbous fruits, red and brown,

alien jewels or swollen bellies or

the freshly laid eggs of an imagined bird.

Under the dried-out corpses of those once colored trees,

the children chase.

They chase one another- it and not it

it and not it

in the solemnly fading light

of a weary February sun.

Novices at the sacred sport of watching games

would think that they are having fun

while they flee like unbroken stallions

bursting through the futile walls of an old pine gate.

They are wrong.

I am an experienced bench-sitter, a veteran of winter splinters,

I lived the renaissance of watching games

and I can tell you

firmly tell you

that they are afraid.

They know how other children hunt

with gnashing teeth and hot, hot blood

they know

because they have all been hunters before.

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