Lengthy Poem Contest
         of
            2024

The girl with the red stroller

Ana Reisens

I.

I cannot hold the spring.

II.

Spring has slipped on its floral coat and crabapple petals line the gravel. A family passes. The man carries his sweater over his shoulders. The woman wears white gloves. Behind them, a girl pushes a stroller. It’s large and red and meant for more than the plastic doll nestled inside, pale eyelids bobbing. Every few steps the girl stops to arrange its invisible needs – a blanket, a whimper, the shade. I watch the trees sway as the man and woman pass and the girl pushes the red stroller and I don’t know why, suddenly, the petals feel so heavy.

The girl with the red stroller
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