Wikham Park

There are so many moments
where I’ve reached for my camera
to capture in a photo the million ways
that reality flowers in your presence:
what the photographer Cartier-Bresson would call
“the decisive moment” —

Like that day in Wikham Park, standing in the sunlight,
your eyes like two small paintings,
the simple colors of your black coat
on the green grass, the white tail of your dog
wagging like mad,
and the contrast of your dark hair
against your pale cheeks,
delicate as dandelion seeds blown in a breeze.

But today, staring out the window
at the taxis going down the avenue,
I realize there is so much life in you
it’s impossible to capture. I’ve quit trying.
Maybe life is not meant to be trapped
like some exotic bird.

Instead, my mind returns to the grassy hill,
when I stood with my hands in my pockets,
leaning into the bit of warmth
left in the cold light,
and I watched you chasing Layla,
your laugh hanging like a string of bulbs in the air,
and I watched the little girl in you come out
and wrap her arms around the world.

And I thought how like a sunset it was:
there forever and gone
at the same time.

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