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Our gardens bloom at last,
No longer tramped by treasure-questing feet.
Drawn into obscure corners, swings and see-saws rust genteely
Festooned with jasmine.
Inner eyes see golden tousled heads, bright overalls,
Faces laughing with the joy of being loved.
Ghost voices echo through the empty peace.
Violets cover ground where once a knee was grazed, or lolly dropped
Bringing floods of hot and sudden tears,
And the soft clinging is gone
Of little bodies snuggling to be held.
Beneath our chins
Where soft heads lay or wriggled
Is an emptiness that cannot be told
Even to the first word.
Along this street once loud with jostling kids we walk sedately,
Neat smiles glued firmly over nothingness,
Discussing news that has no meaning or import.
Or creep into each other's husks of homes
To swallow tea
* * * * *
Our partners, gone long since,
Flying off on brighter, softer clouds,
Have lived their childless, trouble-free existence
And we, who stayed behind,
Have now no more than they.
Only a chasmic burning ache,
In the place where a child should be.
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