Two Girls, 4 and 6, Twirling in the Park

I stood under the hundred year oak
watching little girl bodies intersect
at the belly where one lay across the other
at right angles on the doughnut-shaped swing
and a young man—clearly not their father—
spun them round and round.

I got dizzy watching
in the warm afternoon wind,
worried what to say, not knowing
any of them– just gaping
like some voyeur, sordid and obsessed
with the relentless need

to stare and the nudge of something
in my gut. Maybe it was
how his hands moved so quickly
to spin them; the little one’s cries
rising in near delirium, clamoring
for him to stop while he kept on

twirling them round
and round and round
on the city park’s Big O
tire swing until they melted
into tender, mewing kittens
willing to be held.

“Two Girls 4 and 6 Twirling in the Park” first appeared in Green Monsters on Red Moons.

 

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