yesterday in the park

She comes running out from somewhere in the crowd. Tall and long limbed in a floaty white skirt and one of those flimsy cardigans that don’t actually keep you warm. She is shouting a name over and over again, loudly and angrily and then with increasing urgency. She rushes to a group of men and women and gesticulates – ‘this high’ ‘hair this short’. People shake their heads, some of the men go in search while others look around desperately and then relax as they find their own children in the screaming, shouting, tag playing mass. The woman runs out the front gate and does not return. An invisible net settles over the park, smothering the children and their parents with uneasiness. And then a child falls and scrapes her knee. A boy feeds a goat a dried leaf. Band-aids, soothing words and cameras come out. Momentum is restored. And the little child and his mother are forgotten. Just like that.

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