Walking in my old neighborhood,
just beyond my distance vision,
I sort of see a school bus stop,
two children clamber down,
probably grip that silver hand rail
to take the last
high step, as I had to
to make it down and off
at this age, about seven. 

They separate,
and now I see one is a boy,
and one is a girl.
The boy runs to the mother
who walks out from behind
the brick garage. 

Two doors down, a smaller girl
opens the screen door and calls
to her sister, a bulging backpack
across her shoulders,
a handful of papers in her right hand,
in her left, a plate
with a cupcake she balances
as she trudges up the hill,
smiling—trudging and smiling,
smiling and trudging
as the younger stands at the top
calling for her, smiling, waiting. 

Surprised by joy—
my own and theirs and ours—
but then, not ours,
my eyes blurred as I turned home
where you do not wait,
nor as far as I can see,
any where.

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