never seem to be quite in focus, but I can see their hands and feet.
Bronzed fingers pulling on my pant legs and pointing toward things they cannot yet name,
curls moving like soap bubbles sliding along invisible ribbons before a final pirouette.
Ancient tribal sounds rise as two drummers play goat skins at 110 beats per minute,
the rhythm enveloping, filling, teething, casting oracle visions in random bursts of colour.
A room decorated with stencils, sea animals, outlet covers, cushions for sharp corners,
prepared lovingly, if a bit manically, anticipating twin sets of limbs crawling in all directions.
Neighborhood playgrounds, bodies arching through the air from swings into waiting sand below,
brushing off palms against shirt tails as legs pump rapidly toward the steps to a slide.
Waves of sound pushing toward the do-I-look-pretty’s, first dates, college applications,
band posters replacing sea animals and covering stencils, inexorably ending with an empty room.
Bronzed fingers wrapped around wine glasses, entering the what-do-I-do-now’s, sharing stories,
enjoying time, lingering together on the porch even as it is becoming too cold to be out there.
Crushing silence strangles the rhythm, surprising in its pitiless abruptness, permeating, final,
dispersing the images into vapor as I am left standing at the center of a half-finished room.
A floor covered in drop clothes, paint cans, fabric samples, unrealized experiences,
and I think how much they would have loved it here, while mourning the never-will-be’s.
Their hands swing as their feet carry them away from me, and I will never see their faces.
--- by Steve McKennon, 8/7/13