Beneath the Slide
By Noel Vanderbilt
His hand was small within my grasp
warm and sticky
like peanut butter smeared on rosy cheeks.
I tugged him past the swings,
my head lowered,
his blue eyes lifted,
carefree like waves.
Their jeering laughter hung above
the playground air into a million shards.
Now he heard the monsters too.
I shook and clenched my teeth
but looked away as taunting faces blurred.
He turned and smiled at their sneers,
lifted in a wave.
splitting mine in half.
I cried beneath the slide that day.