Custody

Custody

Their gloved hands held tight
crossing the road to final moments
the child's walk morphed into a skip
while proud father kept his adult stride

His Baltic features warm with smiles
chilled by the north wind blowing
between the great buildings and
rows of weekend parking

The stretching adult hand grasps air
a back pat missed to fleeting feet
now an empty space of childish stature
is a vacuum filling with feelings

The father's smile melts to pain
regret and sorrow leads
him away to the other side
his child runs to maternal custody 

Broad shoulders crouch into lonely amble
pockets bury his empty hands
the strong demeanour crushed
beneath his angry frown

Mother and child embracing
one hundred metres and a world apart
two sides to one story, both true
both real, and a child is in between.

- Ciaran Burke
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