Ollie Ollie 

Photo by il21

Giggling, she runs from the family room couch
where I sit and count, both hands over my eyes.
“1,2,3,4,5 and 5 is 10. Ready or not, here I come.”

First, in the kitchen, opening and slamming cabinet
drawers and doors, “No, not here. Not here, either,”
repeated loud while lifting corners of the tablecloth,

again as I look under a chair cushion, behind the curtain,
then seek into the living room to flip pages of a book
on the shelf, “She’s sure hiding good, where can she be?”

Muffled laughter in the closet, ever her same hiding spot,
as I pass the half open door, again not seeing her crouched
smiling presence as I continue my search into the hall.

“I wonder where that girl can be, I’ve looked everywhere.”
A tug on my pant leg, I turn around in wild surprise,
“Here I am, Papa, right here. See. You couldn’t find me.”

“You certainly are a wonderful hider, much better than me.
Now it’s my turn.” She counts with covered eyes as I slip
into the closet, same place as when her mommy was small.

Carl “Papa” Palmer

Carl “Papa” Palmer of Old Mill Road in Ridgeway, Va., lives in University Place, Wash. He is retired from the military and Federal Aviation Administration, enjoying life as “Papa” to his grand descendants and as a Franciscan hospice volunteer.

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