We walked through the wind
towards the trees, the balloons
pulled at their strings.
There it is, you said, your hand in mine.
Amy was dressed in taffeta.
When she saw you, you ran away
together. Beneath the balloons
a picnic blanket was spread with food
only a girl turning five could love¾
in the centre, the lavish pink cake¾
and so I quietly joined them, the adults, kneeled on the edge.
Everything was about to change.
Nothing would change at all.
We traded small talk,
sat and watched
your steady faces, your wholehearted limbs,
watched you consume every item of food on the blanket
and explode the piñata
into coloured candy, watched your knees fold so easily,
watched the long notes sung out into the air,
watched you watch
the cake cut again and again
into crumbs on the empty plate,
the pile of candles licked clean
and beside them, the matchbox, the matchbox.