I. A little girl sits on a bench, swings her legs and reads from her book of a thousand and one jokes. I glimpse, in that act, a young woman, and I am thrilled and deeply shaken at once. II. A look crosses a woman’s face, flashes for less than a moment, too fast to be more than barely seen. The girl that once was comes passing through a passing thought and is caught —only not caught— and gone before she is known for what she is or what she was, left with only the memory of an expression of memory passed beneath the surface. The little girl is gone. III. A little boy cries out from an old man’s face, the sad one, the lost one, the last one, beyond comprehension of a hard-won heart. The learned self-given healing —even that— is gone. Pain as can only be known to a child is carried on and on, a burden that one never wants to open. IV. A son is asked by his father —but it is the cry of the lost boy, ripped from somewhere deep in the old man’s throat— “Will you be my mommy?” How can a son answer this, when his father does the asking? Is this what it feels like to be born? To lose forever the warmth that is still (but now only) known from within? We find us both lost past longing and long past lost. Incomprehensible why this happens to any of us, this slap that is existence. A son is carried by his father for so many years that he is shocked to realize he is no longer being carried, surprised to find himself standing with his own legs under him. V. A little girl sits on a bench, swings her legs and reads her book of a thousand and one jokes. I glimpse, in that act, a young woman, and I am thrilled and deeply shaken at once.