when evening at last arrived
turning the streetlights 
the color of memory
I would scurry away
from my father
like a little squirrel

light up shoes bounding a meadow
against the encroaching dark

it was our little game 
as fast as I could
and he was there
always right behind
never tiring of the chase

and when I was inevitably caught
and he scooped me to his arms
blanket of stubble pressed
sweet against my ear

he would carry me
just like that
all the way home.

©2023 Niall Cunningham