Throughout July, we had but little rain,
And all the trees were parched, with drooping leaves
That browned and fell, as if the fall had come
Already. Rains arrived, at last, and trees
Revived. It rained till well past noon today.
It's August now – a cloudy afternoon,
with traces of a drizzle, drifting past.
I'm sitting in an asphalt city park,
beneath a tree recovered from the drought,
with little leaves in rows of two that weave
a curtain, oriental, underneath
a sky of white that's rimmed by shades of gray.
Those little leaves are waving in the wind,
in silence, as I hear the muted sound
of water gurgling from a fountain set
at the center of this little park, where kids
would now be swinging, running, shouting and
be climbing on the slides and jungle gym,
if the sun were out this August afternoon.
And though that sun attempts to pierce the clouds,
with light reflected brightly from the slides
and shadows briefly cast upon the ground,
it's hid again, as denser clouds arrive
and breezes cool and even chilly blow.
The pigeons too were scared away by rain,
and I am left in solitude today
in busy Brooklyn, as the cars go by
at intervals along a road I see –
and even they have noises that are hushed.
So I can hear that gurgling water and,
when gusts arrive, the metal clank of chain
against a flagpole tall that flies
the flags of nation, city, state and parks...
I sit in meditation, in that park,
as time goes by, this August afternoon...
I wait awhile – and then the birds arrive –
and as it nears to three, the smaller kids.
And gone are now that stillness, solitude
and quiet – with those faint and waking sounds...
It's life, not that of patient trees alone,
but active beasts – the pigeons, sparrows and
the swallows that are wheeling in the breeze,
the kids who run upon the clanking “bridge”
and chase each other 'round and ride their bikes
and scooters, those who mount the stairs and slide,
with all their squeals of joy, on play intent –
this life now fills this city park that wakes from sleep.
The adults, few in number, come to sit
on benches, basking in the tempered sun,
and watching children play and run and shout.
I sit and watch and wonder where it went –
that park that was before – and then, again –
a moment's quiet, as the sun breaks through –
and there – I hear it – still, that gurgling sound...
A little baby cries – and it is gone.
I look and see – that fountain, small, in sun.
It rises but a foot or so above the ground.
A little girl approaches, circles, squats
and wets her hand awhile and prances off.
I feel the sun upon my aging legs –
a benediction. But it's time to go...
2013 August 3rd, Sat. afternoon City park at Bath and Bay Bensonhurst, Brooklyn