For practice

a child soldier

chases stray balloons across a field.

He         jumps              across               no man’s land

knifes only the blue ones.

The woman who stepped into my life

             steps out.

The washing has never left the clothes-line.

A taut familiarity

grips this place                           and like birthday candles
this news

flickers briefly              on          and      off.

The boy has drawn a circle                   around us

while he plays.