Folding their clothes

i.m. Gunilla Bergström (1942–2021)

they will just move on once we are gone, of course;
what choice do they have, after all? perhaps none—

their play-filled days a soundscape we cannot hear, 
we can't pretend to know if they'll sleep or eat enough

to get them through it; but should they fall asleep
in a park somewhere, who will be there to hold them?

surely that new friend, the one they met just once, 
will come along with smiles and new ideas for games?

(we must rely on this idea of new friends with games,
otherwise there's nothing to hold onto in the dark,

when we listen for some sniff or cough and realise
those nightmares were really our own (oh! but look—

the moon falls behind the trees and we say: "goodbye!"
just fold their clothes, then try extra hard not to cry 

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