picnicMidday temperatures stretching towards triple digits
encourage visitors to dress lightly and arrive early
at the local park where the Watcher,
sitting silently and scanning for details
that will reveal the nature of the day, sees …

A thin man with hairy arms leads
fourteen short children higgledy piggledy
down the path that leads to the pond
where the ducks are waiting to be fed
on a warm Monday morning
that will later be remembered by six year-old minds
as an end-of-school lunch eaten at splintered wood tables
with paper bag sandwiches while brightly colored straws
bend at crooked angles from waxy milk cartons as …

A young man, baseball hat pulled low, tokes on a smoke
under a bright orange canopy and drives the giant lawnmower
whose whirling blades are layered in a thick carpet of green clippings
across the field where a yellow lab sits in stubborn determination
until the most insistent pulling on his leash and the most cajoling tones
in his ears cause him to reluctantly rise like the dragonfly
as big as a hummingbird  that hovers low,
its green and purple body glistening in the sun’s rays,
its eyes reflecting the image of …

An old man with bowed shoulders who carries a tackle box in his left hand,
a rod in his right, leaves behind the small stream that has delivered his lunch
and is passed by two men strolling arm and arm, heads back and ears forward,
one waving a white cane in small circles, the other following the subtle lead
of the large German Shepherd that walking confidently in step while …

A stroller with two bonnets bobbing is pushed to the playground
by a young woman with stringy brown hair
who lifts out twin toddlers, then heavily sits at the picnic table,
head on hand, watching them climb the monkey bars
as a sleek Doberman silently keeps cadence beside a young man
who with detachment strides past the fallen child
who cries to be picked up but who is instead bundled,
with his brother, arms flailing, back into the stroller
that the young man sullenly pushes to …

The playing field where yesterday two local teams swung at small white balls
still holds the faintest echoes of the cheering crowds
that were captured and held by the large wire clam shell
behind the diamond that is today covered by paper wrappers and empty cans
but will soon be filled by disabled adults from the local center
who one by one will tumble out of a long white van
with happy cries of anticipation and head towards the dugout
where volunteers will be blowing up bright balloons
and setting out plates for a picnic lunch on this warm June day.


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3 thoughts on “LUNCH AT THE PARK

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