painted silk jersey, 1987


In the heat of the day I rolled to the plaza.

My ice collar was concealed beneath a gauzy white scarf and my wide-brim panama hat gave me portable shade.

I parked beneath a venerable tree with the distinct voice of nonchalance

And surreptitiously watched lovers take selfies.

Peppered amidst the masses were other watchers; heads barely swiveling, secret smiles, seemingly static.

A dirty man played his guitar with all his attention on the playing and none directed toward his open case before him.

I dropped change there to acknowledge his focus.

He never looked up.

I loved that..

Smooth-skinned children chased pigeons flashing for a mate.

The man who dresses up like a real mountain man in leather, furs, beard and raggedy hat

Was still in his regular seat even with this heat

Waiting to have his photo taken

For a price.

All the watchers were smiling secretly still

When I felt my ice collar had melted to my own body heat

And I knew I must go home hurriedly

So as not to succumb

To the savage heat of the day.

I rolled

Rather out of control

Past grumpy fathers

Imagining a different Father’s Day.

Smiling still, I enjoyed the movie.


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