Swingsets (III)

When you were six,
On Christmas break,
I took you to
A schoolyard swing;
We ran and laughed
All bundled up,
Your eyes so full
Of everything —

But we lived in
A diff’rent town:
Your mom and I
Now far apart,
Could not have known
What was to be,
The broken vow,
The wounded heart

That let you bruised
When still a boy;
This man you knew
And came to trust,
Who ran with you
By schoolyard swings,
And made up stories
In the dust

Of what are now
Your memories.
For what is it
Stepfathers do
But keep on loving
Even when
Their marriages
Are long since through,

The children who
Were trusted them,
Who though grown up
And far away,
Are somehow, somewhere,
Still just six,
And dressed for cold
And joy

And play

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