A wailing child somewhere
in the neighborhood. How powerful
that sound becomes when it goes on
for such a long time.
You would think by now
I’d be immune to the slight panic
it induces, it happens so often.
It’s the kid next door, one house
down the hill from my own. Weather’s
been warm enough these days
that with windows open,
what’s been inside all winter is leaking out.
With my windows open as well?
I wonder if I’ve spread any panic
in the neighborhood with my own
noisy pain? Even a twinge of nervousness
out there might be validating if I knew of it.
When I look out on the street I can’t see
anyone looking back, cocking one ear to
any sound — even the baby’s gone silent.