On a Park Bench

I’ve unclogged some writer’s dam. And now words just keep coming. So I’m going to keep sharing and hope that someone out there is reading.

This is a poem I just wrote, like just this hour in my notebook and then typed up. So here it is, hot and steamy, fresh and slimy.            Bon Apetit.


On a Park Bench

With a cloudless,
crystal blue November sky above

I sit and eat my lunch and watch

as a couple across from looks to be
breaking up.
I hear no words
so I could be wrong.
But she looks to be crying,
though she could just be squinting
at the autumn sun.
And he puts his head in his hands
in surrender, or maybe
he is just tired.
And then after having sat apart,
arms crossed, they move minutely closer.
Knees touch, they hold hands,
but it does not seem to have the same magic
their hand-holding once had.
He tries to stroke her cheek,
she will not be moved, just stares
at the grass as it dies.

All the while I watch,
eat my sandwich
and enjoy it
(the sandwich, that is).
I just think of how the world is:
so personal, so indifferent.
For them the world is ending,
the sun has gone supernova
and they will be devoured by
a black hole in the weeks
or months to come.
But all around life is still
moving, the cafe behind them
is forming a line out the door,
people pass by on their own ways
to Armageddon, or some personal
Garden of Eden. And I watch,
reminisce of when it was me and
someone else in their place,
on that bench, waiting
for the world to end.

I’d like to tell them
it will be ok.
Things will change.
They will heal
and find better ways of being,
deeper understandings, fuller love.
It happened for me.
But I don’t know that for them,
and why would they listen?
I wouldn’t if I were them.
And I have been them.
So instead I finish my lunch,
give my apple core to
a hungry squirrel
and write a poem
about a reality that can
hold us hostage,
blackmail our freedom,
or give us the keys to
every imaginable kingdom.


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