party

All day, I wait for the betrayal. A person is not who he says he is. A man waits, unmoving, on the bench next to me. I see his knees and his feet. We must wait. Here together, we must wait. I learn that he plays the ukulele. Someone asks him about his music and he responds. More questions. His parrot has died. I offer sympathy. The children run across the field and they measure my head and my arm and my foot with their measuring tape. They hit the ball. They walk backward to the tree. They run forward to race. They eat cupcakes and pasta salad. The kids eat cookies. They eat strawberries. They eat candy from the piñata. The kids play games and they run. The kids do not sleep. They will not sleep. No. No. They run. They run. They run. They run to the apple tree with the bees busy. They say: I want to learn about dead sea stars. I want to learn about loons, too. I want, and I want, and I want. The sun hides behind clouds. It hides and does not show its face. The sun hides and we are lost in gray and blooms. The children have become quiet. We tilt our heads and pretend to listen for them. The little girl jumps off the bench again and again and again and says, bwwwwaah. She hugs other children and says goodbye. She does not want them to leave. No one wants to leave and they all want to leave. Good bye, good bye, and the cars pull away from the gravel drive and the girl sits in her world with her presents. And there is no end to the want and it is beautiful. And there is so much silence that soon we will need to speak to each other.

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