I see two boys coming down the lane,

talking, walking, bumping together as boys do;

interrupting each other with excited declarations

and shrill assertions and emphatic repetitions,

laughing and crowing, sometimes pushing,

all the while smiling, nodding,

gesturing agreements and understandings.

They lean together comfortably, unselfconsciously,

as though to underscore some like-minded meaning.

Their hands touch.

They look quickly at one another out of the corners of their eyes.

They smile.

And, just as I had raised my hand to hail them,

to say “Hello,“ to say “How’s it going boys,“ they see me:

and step apart,

look down,

walk sedately;

make no notice of my outstretched hand.