I was catching some afternoon sun,
Sitting on the garden wall by the pavement.
A woman came along with two young children
On their pedal bikes, a boy and a girl.
Riding along the side walk
As Mummy watched closely,
A hand ready for instant support.
They weren't going very fast.
I stood back and smiled, 'Hello.'
Their faces lit up with pleasure
And all three stopped at once,
Clustered a safe distance away.
The rosy little girl said, 'I'm four.
I can't peddle yet, but I can keep up.'
The lad chimed in, 'I'm six and I can peddle.'
'She's learning every day.' said Mum.
Her daughter beamed.
'Yes, I can see that. It won't be long now.
And then you can ride together.'
The children sparkled with friendliness.
Their mum leaned a little forward,
A sense of impossible privacy.
'They're so chatty. I hope you don't mind.'
'Mind?' I chuckled. 'They are delightful.
Chatty children are happy children.
My little girls thought our whole town
Was one big family.'
She smiled, and gathered her chicks.
I turned away as they passed,
And climbed back up to my flat,
More warmed by people than by sunshine.
Cynthia Buell Thomas, May 2020