A Spring Without Us

Talia Bloch

The playground has been locked for months.
A swing coughs dryly in the shade.

Each night, ambulances pulse through our sleep.
Long white corridors crowd our dreams.

Remember the scent of new grass
in the park, of earth clotting in the rain?

Remember the picnickers laughing
beside the magnolia’s soft, pink lungs?

Now we distrust even the breeze
and only the birds will congregate.

The smallest gesture has grown grand
and from afar we’ve learned to love

our neighbor’s song. Our voices kiss the walls.
Because we cannot, the tulip breathes.