By Caitlin Halstead

I watch windows like TV screens,
a box of glowing light with people shuffling
to and fro.
The light sings to me like Sirens on the ocean,
“Come. See how we live.
Watch the workings of familial love.”
Husband and wife sway in one another’s arms
to the swirling cadences of jazz.
Tykes in Spiderman and Cinderella pajamas
cling to legs, putting tiny bare feet atop the
dancers’ shoes.
The father picks up Spiderman and swings him
to his hip.
There, he dips and sways to the saxophone
A tickle, a kiss, bidding of sweet dreams,
and they scamper up steps to soft, fluffy beds,
knowing safety and love are just downstairs
in the living room.
Then mother and father rock gently in one
another’s arms,
as if to say, “Here is love.”
But the phrase twists and becomes gnarled at
my ear.
Instead, they say,
“You can never have what we have.”
And a tear slips down.

Photo: Orchid by Jonathan Eddy, Class of 2015