Now that I make the frequent arrivals
and departures of a child who grew up
and moved away from his parents,
who grow older and sicker and smaller
between visits, I feel too sad to read
while I wait for boarding to start
and instead head up to the gates
that are no longer used because the city
has also shrunk, and I see this little survivor
who was here the last time I left
and the time before that, feathers drab
as the well-trodden carpet but happy,
I’d like to think, in its world of fries
and burger buns, not lost, not half
regretting what must have been a decision
to thread itself through an open door
into a life it could not imagine and away
from one it could not manage for long
if it ever had to go back to it again.