Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Playground, Once

This is mine:

They climb the ropes with small, determined fists,
Delighting in the planetary pull.
Unknown children play in parallel;
The lives of others mean everything and nothing.

The sun, benignant, violates the dark,
Burning color into bewildered sight.
A train's whistle sounds, its anchored tracks
Forlornly straight, its body massively wrought
As it pushes past our gratuitous idyll.

The beasts are absent, but for a wheeling bird
Or vigilant squirrel; the animals are gone.
We have made this land our own, have scoured
It clean but for this empty green expanse;
Kids play in the vacuum of myriad other springs.
The creekside walnuts bear witness, their boughs aloft.

Recall it just like this, no matter what
Happens, this is the way it was this day.
They grow now in the harsh glare of change,
But storied shadows, specters of memory,
Sit silently far off, and watch and wait.


Retriever said...

Love the beginning image despite my hollyWood addled brain (Terminator burning swingset hard to forget). My kids are poets so will send more extended comments and my editor's red pencil marks when not on a cellphone during work break. The second verse beginning line needs work tho. I may be projecting my own concerns, but an image of the fragility of happiness and the intense joy of youth, protected by older, wiser, sadder adults. Parenting and love carving out a safe oasis for loved kids in the howling desert storm of life. Don't dare analyze that, my friend.

Anyway, like it, but touchscreen not condusive to serious commentary. :)

Anonymous said...

Better than anything Elizabeth Bishop
ever wrote, Thank you.

Anonymous said...

So the past is like an agonising mother; an observer on the quantum world of its child. The child is all possibilities in that nascent playground where all things play to be. Does the mother make the child what it is or does the playground catalyse the child's fate?

I like the lines:

'Unknown children play in parallel;
The lives of others mean everything and nothing.'