the neighbourhood girls who live across the street,
under five, both of them,
tromp through the early morning rain with enthusiasm.
their frilly, high-necked nightgowns flap about their little legs,
their hair waves about wildly,
and their cheeks glow with the cold and the fresh-from-sleep flush.
they’re wearing daddy’s slippers, which are too big for their feet.
their high little voices chatter away
as they search for the perfect tomato in the kitchen garden.
the unintelligible chatter possesses an innocent joy i’ve long since lost,
but i cherish the happy memories
that their echoing laughter brings.