The swing set was a contact reminder.
We’d turned her room into a home office, given away her toys,
ignored the stricken looks of her older sister. The sobbing late
at night. The stretches of haunted silence.
If she’d never lived, she’d never died. If she’d never died, she
hadn’t been killed. If she hadn’t been killed, her parents
couldn’t be blamed.
The swing set wouldn’t stand if we cut it in half, and her older
sister spent all her free time out there, lifting from the seat
at each end of the arc, while the rhythmic screech of the chain
sawed through our souls.