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a river and a boy

      …a river and a boy.

it’s just outside our place, a coastal creek not more than a dozen feet across at its widest. maybe a foot or two deep.  in spring time.  crisp.  bright.  warm rays of sun.  he’s eighteen months old and tossing stones into water and for the first time notices his reflection in some quiet stretch on an inside bend.  his peter pan. 

peek-a-boo. 

hands over his eyes.  peering through open fingers, sneaking.

     ‘…boo.’

He touches the image in the water and the reflection submerses under the ripples, giggling. 

arms bent. hands out.  palms up…  ‘uh-oh’

     …where’d he go? 

it reappears.  more giggling.  more peek-a-boo.  more touching images and more tossing stones.

a river and a boy and his dad.  I’m thirty-one years old and for the first time notice the boy’s reflection in the quiet water and my own just behind.  my arm around his waist and i smell his warm hair and i’ve never been so in love with anything in my entire life. 

and i touch the image in the water.  a reflection in a reflection.

my boy.  my peter pan.

my never never land.

-jw

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