Peter Pan – Christine E. Ray

In memory of Dylan

an image of you
lingers at the edges
of my vision
lurking
waiting patiently
to catch me unaware
punch me
in the solar plexus
hard
fierce
I see you straddling
no-man’s land
at top of the jungle gym
late afternoon sun basking
your golden curls
into a halo
feet firmly planted
in worn, dirty sneakers
arms defiantly folded
across fragile cage
of your chest
there is some
mischief
in your challenging gaze
but there is also
something
else
that haunts me
you are not simply
testing rules
authority
but seek boundaries
limits
desperate
to feel
safe
did I pass your test
that day?

I feel gutted
ten years later
to learn
you are gone
have been
since august
news from southern
states
slow to travel
I google
with incredulous
fingertips
dig deeply
into shifting soil
of facebook
instagram
unearthing
incomplete
jigsaw puzzle
of your short life

and death

media reports
grimly detail discovery
of the body
of a man
missing weeks
but the image
of you (at 11? 12?)
standing at the top
of that jungle gym
asking me
begging me
for safety
stability
is all I
can see

© 2022 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All Rights Reserved

Photo by Bob Coyne on Unsplash

5 thoughts on “Peter Pan – Christine E. Ray

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