At the playground, a father was shaming his son,
and though it was none of my business, I made it my concern,
staring at the father until he stared back,
which was enough admonishment for me to turn away,
but as I did, I saw my son looking at his counterpart
who was looking at him, and in the stillness and silence
of their regard, the unbroken steadiness of their gaze,
they shared a recognition so complete, I didn’t know
which father I was or whose son was mine.
The ground was made of shredded tires spread out around
a labyrinth of pressure-treated lumber. It had a “listening post”
where if you put your ear to its brass grill, you heard voices,
quiet and distant, but absolutely clear, and so near
one might tell you whose son was yours, which father you were.