I saw in the forest
Two children sitting in a wood
Legs swinging from atop a branch
Hands as twined as their scarves
And warmth as shared as their smiles
When one slipped from the tree,
Waved and promised to come back.

So the other waited, a wistful smile
Twisted across a wistful face,
A heartbeat scarf clutched in small hands that
Grew cold always waiting for another of that
Fleeting moment
Until even faith grew bitter in that mouth
Like ash brimming from cooling lips, like
Doubt drifting onto the leaf-strewn ground --
From lonely autumn to a yet lonelier winter--
Until only the blood of the tree ran still
In spring. There was not even enough
Left behind to haunt, not a trace.

The one never came back, and neither did the other.

- - -

I saw in the forest
Two children sitting in a wood
And watched one get left behind.

I saw in that forest
Two children sitting atop a branch
Two tragedies, but only one heartbreak.