She is screaming for her Dad

and that is not me.
The sound hits my chest
as hard as my son’s first cry
in the hands of a stranger
we will only ever know as “Doctor”.
Well-trodden phrases exist
because humans feel the same things
no matter how hard we try to be new
and her yell is blood-curdling.
I spin to see her at the end of aisle 12.
Another man called Dad gets to her first,
she smiles at his panicked skin
and says, There you are,
look at this Peppa Pig jigsaw.

© Carl Burkitt 2023

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