“Little one!” they yell.

“Get your ass home!”

He clenches his fist.

Crushes the burnt pine cone.

He walks the well-beaten path to them.

Plops down in his chair.

It groans under his weight.

His feet firmly planted.

They start to dance.

He watches.



Looks away.

They lay their hands on him.


Handfuls of air.

The stare of his glare.

That is all that they take.

He still sits in his chair.

Sees it.

Bewilderment fills their faces.

Their eyes speak it.

They know it.

He now knows it too.

The relationship they knew.

The one they had grown accustomed to.

It is over.

It is through.

The little one they were handed.

Asked to get ready, to raise.

The little one they loved.

In their twisted.


Albeit, how they were taught to love him kind of way.

He is no longer little.

He is no longer their’s.

He is now.

At least physically.

A man.

He stands.

Steps forward with sovereignty.

They separate.

Make way.

Reach out as he passes.

Not to handle.

Just to touch.

Stop their fingers just shy of his elbow.

In many ways.

All the things that they said.

All the things that they did.

It was their way of asking.

And, getting an answer.

To the one question that matters.

Did he love them?

He did.

But, now.

It is too late for the three of them.

He leaves their presence.

Goes to the stream.

Water circles his feet.

The words that were whispered.

Whisper again.

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