You say it’s springtime, Darling
but I don’t believe you.
The houses on that hill
have tired eyes and take labored breaths.
Our feet would be cold on their bare floors,
our voices too loud for so much dust and peeling paint.
You say there is an echo, Darling
but I hear nothing.
There is no child
with constant hiccups and an easy laugh.
There is no kicking swimmer,
no water sloshes over the pool’s edge.
You say she is with us still, Darling,
but in the yard, I see no ghost.
No skin glistens under the yellow sun of afternoon. Besides,
I’d have seen her if she were there:
she looked like me, her shoes were filthy
and she waited every day after school.