Every step dragging, heavy with
him and you, we make our slow
progress up the hill to the park...
halfway there you begin to squeal
and shout making duck noises as
you note the familiar landmarks.
My breath labours, and the plastic
bag of stale bread knocks and
bumps against the side of the pram.
I sink exhausted onto the nearest
hard wooden seat but you strain to
be free, wrenching at the straps,
as I feel your brother re-position
himself, letting me know he also has
been constrained for far too long.
Now it's clear someone else got
here first, and the satiated ducks
turn tail in disgust, leaving scarcely
a ripple as they glide over the murky
water. So you nibble at a piece of
bread before your fat little hand flings
the rest across the path, to be swept
up later with the leaves and all the
day's debris...and I do not know that
the next time we are here there will
be more space on my lap for you to sit,
drinking juice from your plastic mug -
duck-food forgotten at home on the
kitchen table - and it will still be just the
two of us, you and me, watching
the baby ducklings, their legs paddling
furiously as they follow their proud
mother across the pond.