I see them now, hand in hand, hurrying
late for school, on empty bellies; again.
But I don't see the child I first saw,
two, maybe three years ago.
The one with large optimistic eyes
keen to learn,
with a easy way of making friends;
if a little shy.
Now the missed baths on Sundays
have begun to show.
And, smell less than the lies,
however well intentioned
by a sistered proxied parent of barely seven.
You get used at the school gate to pain.
The child bravely turning blind,
the child who might die at anytime,
and the small aches of the playground
that you know can be kissed away.
But some scenes remain.
Like those two...
like those two
caught in that moment of lick combed dressing
dodging the road, late for school breakfast.