I Saw a Little Boy Today by James Santore

I saw a little boy today. Tiny chunks of alabaster and big brown eyes. He was chasing a pigeon on Haverford Avenue. I saw a woman too. Candlelight spirit that shone for that boy alone. She looked at me as if to say, “Do you see this? How cute is this?” I moved on—and passed the Outer Space Club, and the Oasis Lounge, and the Famous Bar. And Mr. C’s Love Lounge, too. African hair braiding and crumbling, colorful stucco Jamaican holes in the wall selling Jerk chicken and Oxtail.
I saw in my mind another little boy. He’s two. Tiny chunks of alabaster and spheres of rich indigo. Hands flush on the glass door, watching his daddy drive away. I saw a woman with him too. Face full of sleep with lips dry as she kissed me goodbye. She looked at me as if to say, “You think your job’s hard?” And I drove off and saw the horses, the farms—the suburbs squeezing in. And there were Malls. And hair salons, and pizza joints that sell handcrafted beer, and bottles of Barbera.

James Santore is the author of numerous poems and short stories. He was brought up and educated in southeastern Pennsylvania and northern New England. After years of drifting throughout the United States, he has returned to his hometown, where he resides with his wife and four children.