A white gull circles the big field
Five, six, seven times, searching,
Perhaps, for the sea that lies
Ninety miles to the west
While two black crows sit
On bare black branches
Watching the gull fade into the light sky
As St. Philomene’s bell chimes twelve.

Snip snapping red clad legs
Crisscross like sharp scissors,
Arms flailing as she flounders,
One high heel sinking, then pulled up,
Another high heel sinking, then pulled up,
Smoking cigarette held in hand,
A swinging semaphore on her journey
Across the field.

Above a snow white egret rises
Like a giant kite and takes roost
Within a tall dark pine,
White feathers barely visible,
And watches the grey spotted Pointer
Down below, nose intent,
Tracking back and forth
Along the creek from which it rose
As the master follows, leash in hand,
Slapping thighs impatiently.

Cars and trucks arrive to disgorge
Small children with new bikes
With red reflector disks on wheels
That spin round and round,
And oldsters with sleek fishing poles
And shining tackle boxes
Filled with treacherous lures
Designed to beguile the unwary.

The playground seethes
With climbing children,
Swinging children,
Sliding chidren,
Crying children,
Soap bubble-blowing children
Whose arms swing in wide arcs
To release streams of iridescent orbs
That float around bushes
And drive dogs to a snapping frenzy.

Two children from the right,
Two from the left,
Cry out in great shouts
And rush at each other
Like mountain rams,
Bumping shoulders and stomachs,
Then fall down in laughter.

An SUV with high wheels and
Heavy bass booming
Bounces by
As two couples slog
Along the jogging path
Tight pursed mouths panting,
Determined to keep pace
With a long-haired blonde girl
Whose high lifting legs
Piston up and down effortlessly
As she glides past.

A slash of white swings downward,
Becomes wings, then settles
On the grass, small head twitching
Right, then left, then down,
Black rimmed, yellow eyes searching,
Finding, darting, piercing, swallowing,
Then to the sky and gull again
Winging seaward.