is a small child playing in the forest,
a midnight game of hide and seek.
I catch a glimpse of bare skin
interleaved with branches - looking
as I am from an upstairs window
of the deserted mansion in my dream.
The child is being scolded by the wind
or by a long dead foster parent
reminding me that I once ran naked
through the green groves in those years.
A pebble is tossed against the window.
I have the urge to press my nose
against the glass and see my hot breath
forming clouds across the sky, the expanse
between the summer warmth of childhood
and the loneliness of winter coming on.
I sit on the edge of old age,
crepe-skinned voyeur locked
in a flannel memory, yearning
to run naked through the hemlocks.
The wind, cold and shifting now, blows away
his cover clouds, exposing the same bare
skin, pale skin. The child shrugs, scuds
behind the trees as the game reaches its end.