The Life that Wasn’t

We were at the water park when I saw her-
me if I had stayed with you.
She was beautiful,
that was the first thing I noticed.
She had the perfect cover up
to go over her swimsuit.
She had sunglasses and a messy bun.
She sat her daughter between her legs
and brushed her hair
and gave her a ponytail.
Her younger child slept in the stroller.
It was all so perfect.

It was everything that was in my grasp at one time,
so much so
that I could feel myself
pulling the hair into the ponytail.

And then you arrived.
You looked at her and smiled.
You ran an open palm
over your daughter’s fresh ponytail.
You bent to peek at your sleeping child.
Again, it was all so perfect.

It was not you
of course
because you were not there
and she was not me.
And so I looked away
from the life that wasn’t
and then they were gone.

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