by Ron Yazinski
With the bouncing basketball from the nearby court
And the boys’ laughing at each other’s missed shots
In their game of HORSE;
And the medley of Christmas carols that the ice cream man plays
Advertising his approach,
As he drives through the development across the street,
It’s understandable that she doesn’t hear me approach.
She’s young, about thirty,
Furling the embarrassment of her body in loose sweat clothes.
From the way she’s moving
At first I think she’s practicing tai chi,
Gliding slowly around the brick sidewalk
Which flows like a figure eight,
Or the symbol for eternity,
Through this commemorative garden of lost loves.
But as I sit down on the park bench near her,
I realize she’s searching particular commemorative bricks.
Each one she chooses has one thing in common:
“In loving memory,” or “Love, always,”
Or “Our eternal love,”
On each she grinds the ball of a sandal,
As though she’s putting out a cigarette.
When she finally notices me sitting on the wooden bench
Before the crane fountain,
She just ignores me
And goes on with her patient exercise,
All the way around the garden
And out through the iron gate.