You can play on the playground

I’m three. I’m an astronaut and this shopping mall playground is my universe. My little brother is in the pram with Mum, near the shoe shop.

I’m looking down from the top of the climbing frame as Dad explains that they will be going into the store, that I will be safe, that they will be back very soon…

I don’t hear him say any of this.

I hear him say:

You can play on the playground.

And I understand. The universe is mine alone.

After two trips down the slide I’ve had enough. Mum and Dad have gone. A moment of panic as I make my final descent.

I make my way to the Jewelery Store spruiker. The guy with the microphone.

I’m three. I’ve lost my parents. Their names are…

My grown-ups emerge from the crowd moving faster than usual.

Either side of me, they each take my hand as we scurry to anywhere but there.

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~ by Daniel Townsend on January 15, 2013.

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