A WALK IN THE PARK

Bench

The season fades and I’ve evaded these tasks,
masking the reality that the park will shift focus
from picnic lunches to bunches of bundled snow-bunnies
in funny get-ups, in cue for the toboggan runs.

Summer’s fun is gone and one-by-one, people
come in homage to the season’s demise.
As I wrap the new young saplings in canvas,
I canvas the area and still see some signs of life.

Mr. Jones stands by the lake, a bag of kernels
to feed the ducks that remain. His heart is stained
having lost his mate late in the Spring. Her spirit
brings him here to continue her mission, a permission

granted out of love. Near the trails, it never fails…
teenage boys and girls seeking adventure in
most mischievous ways. Gone are the days of
gentle carousing, hell bent now on violent rough-housing

profanity laced, and all other humanity placed out of
their consideration. They have none for anyone
but themselves. A selfish lot. I’ve got nine more trees
to appease before the season is officially over.

And then, looking over… I see them. A woman
and a man stand near the park bench on the edge
of the trees. He’s a mensch. The man spreads a blanket
upon the seat to offer a cushion; a comfort from the cold

hardness of enameled wood. It should protect her from the buffets
of early November’s ire. In a grand sweeping gesture, he waves his arm
as if to say, “After you, M’lady!”. There under the “shade” of the trees
barren branches, the chance that she will find compassion in these

moments of peace are enhanced. She glances at him with eyes
that have felt pains he had inflicted, but has picked this moment
to not forget, but to forgive and live fully in the time ahead.
The dead leaves in hues of browns, and gold, and orange umbers

do not encumber his feelings. He is happy to be stealing precious
seconds to offer her in love and protection; all past rejections are history
and their mystery is still a revelation in the making. Sitting, he is taking her hand
in his own, and it is shown in the tenderness displayed that this day was made

for this exact moment, at this exact time. His arm wraps around her sagging
and tired shoulders and you could see the boulders of life lift from her
fragile frame. In the name of compassion, he pulls her to him
Closerthanthisclose and closer still. Her head finds rest against him, his upper chest

her pillow for the time they have allotted. A tender kiss lands on her head, soft
and gentle; comforting and comfortable. In this place they can breathe the breath
of love’s lingering lament. Whatever emotion is sent by Him to placate their hearts,
it all starts in this heartfelt caress. Her arms encircle him as well, and I can tell

there is more to this tryst than meets the eye. The skies take on a crystal hue,
a blue he had only seen reflected in her eyes at the surprise of their first meeting.
A greeting without words perhaps, but a million thoughts exchanged in the space
of this blessed grace. And she sleeps. A needed respite from the stresses of life

a solemn solution from the thought pollution they bring. The birds sing; a soundtrack
meant for every day’s step they will take. Odds are, they never even saw the lake,
they failed to take their eyes away from their glances. Romance in degrees frees the soul
to love long and strong. They belong to this moment. The breeze wafts through the trees

and in an instant they were gone. As suddenly as they had appeared, they were
no longer here. Not on the trail, not sailing on this lake of dreams. Not amongst the fragile
young trees that desire the warmth these coverings will provide. It is hard to hide the fact.
I hope these lovers come back to learn and teach their love. The clouds above shed tears.

Autumn is truly here!

Poetic Asides November Chapbook Challenge – Day 6 – “write from the perspective of a person who either works at and/or visits a place you like to visit (that’s not yourself).”

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