Left: Purple heart and orange daisies.
I named this poem ANOTHER PARK, ANOTHER SUNDAY about 15 years ago, after a beloved Doobie Brothers song, which I have included below.
I never came up with another title, since I never expected to share the poem.
I found it while cleaning up after my hallway flood last week.
He is a decent person at heart, she said.
The park's ancient, wooden swings banged against each other
as we pretended to be swinging on them
dragging our feet, looking down at our shoes
Side by side, looking out,
stealing glances of each other
The swings creaked, they were forever uneven
The neighborhood children stood upright on them, wearing them down
(Do you, she asked, call it a teeter-totter or a see-saw?)
He is a decent person at heart, she said
turning her face up to the sunlit sky
where I could see the shimmer and glimmer of her tears
reflecting the sun and the clouds
The park's noises, children at the edge, arguing, screaming, squealing
Has one of them started to cry?
Should we go see?
He is a decent person at heart, she repeated, nodding.
She had made up her mind.
She would operate on this assumption, this decision.
She would conduct all of her future domestic business,
her science of cohabitation
with this in mind.
And as they left the park, she saw her rub her wrist
the bruise bright and blue in the sun
as she touched her heart, as if consolidating
where he was decent.
The only place.
The park fades quickly from my memory
my sun-bleached happiness fleeting, distracted
And what I remember
is his decency
and her bruise.
Doobie Brothers - Another Park, Another Sunday