Listening Back

The kids are screaming next door.

I’m sorry, they’re really laughing.

The sound is a bell toll.

They scream when they mean to laugh.

The joy just bursts out of their tiny lungs.

While I laugh when I mean to scream.

Containment being a product of my age.

Are they playing chase or racing down the driveway?

With bare feet or shoes?

I only wonder because…

Little running feet and grow into big running feet.

They take off across the world.

Discarded child shoes half buried in the sand pit.

I see them all the time but I’ve never seen the wearer.

There’s a point when the screaming stops.

Or, more so, shifts.

The kids were screaming next door.

Now I’m not sure.