A Day at the Playground

The mother plays with her son, swinging him in swooping airplane movements, holding a wary hand behind him as he climbs the monkey bars, dashing down the plastic slide. The swings creak with their exuberance. The see-saw squeaks with their energetic vigor. Sandcastles in the sandbox. She chases her whooping son from tree to tree. Her laughter echoes from the horizon.

A loose chord of parents are watching her as their children play on the park grounds. On their faces are painted spectra of emotion. Some are holding their hands to their open mouths.

“Why doesn’t anybody say anything?” implores a mother with red hair, her blue eyes brimming with tears.

“I tried, once,” another mother says sadly, “but the look on her face plain broke my heart.”

“What does it matter,” says the father of an elfin daughter. “She’s happy as she is.”

“This shouldn’t have happened to her, you know.”

“She was so normal…”

They watched her play with a ghost.

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