We Run for Them

The sudden laughter shifts my concentration
from this inanely repetitive task of polishing
my sunglasses, my compulsive need for perfect vision

A tiny boy is dipping his little green wand
into a pink bottle of liquid detergent
then stumbling along the sand to catch the air

As the stream of bubbles ends, he stops
dips his wand again, then trips along
overjoyed by the flow of his handiwork behind him

More and more people turn toward him
watch his stuttered sprints and magical creations
smile and nod a shared sign of approval

Now he shifts his strategy, loads his wand
but stands still and blows, sending out
an even more impressive stream of bubbles

a long line of perfect shimmering circles
their different sizes bobbing along, each
turning randomly, moving lazily forward

And then he jolts, bolts after them
squeals with joy as he catches up to one
pointing his index finger at it, the suspense

before the pop of the clear eye, the shriek
of a mind’s expansive pleasure, in an instant
exploding to the edge of the universe

the burst of a child’s reminiscence of breath
set free now, or a long time ago, for me then
the wand buried, before the ramble to old age

And now his father’s calling out, telling him
to come along, that it’s getting very late
that they need to be heading on home

So the boy pouts, but his father takes his hand
repeats that it’s time to go, the son relents
and I, I walk with them, ghost in a memory of myself

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