hide and seek

childish games of long ago
when we’d laugh and run
for “home”
after being found
but not yet tagged

but when you told me,
“hide!” two days ago
life was far from carefree
not fun,
but frightening

i’ve not yet been tagged
nor found
and i’m afraid laughter
is far in the past
i mustn’t cry

as i slept last night
in this cramped and cold room
i dreamed that we were eating
on a patio in summer
we were adults

the dogs i hear now howling
are maybe coming for me with their noses
i only hope
that you
are holding their leashes

what’s that?
a friendly voice…
a woman, my mom?
and you, dear brother
He must be safe in jail