In the morning, the acres resound
With rubber soles slapping
Tar and bicycle bells ringing in
The day. Dogs need no leashes and the park
Pants with them. Hot heavy breath.
Filled with the promise of life.
At noon, lovers stroll
When none looks, tongues
wrap tight around each other like gift paper
On birthday presents.
Things get wet…
Because it rains but children don’t care
And run to the park in the evening, indenting
Wet soil with their size-3 shoe prints.
Anxious mothers follow this trail
to find them laughing gaily as
The merry-go-round spins to a stop
One final time.
It’s time to go home now because
Twilight arrives in a daze.
The park is off limits at night-
The guards lean against their
Black jeeps, waiting, watching and
Sometimes laughing-with the trees leering
In gothic rows behind them.
The rain comes back again quietly,
Like a disconcerting guest-
Making everyone shuffle uncomfortably.
The guards huddle inside their jeeps biding
Another sleepless night.
The steady stream prises open the rigidly locked soil
And it flows with the inky ease of a fountain pen.
He glides in, his black skin
Needing no camouflage.
The next morning they discover
A body dangling-
From the slick branches of a tree.
Hands work in haste
Alternatively rubbing red eyes
And hiding black death from
Plain sight. None needed
An early morning fright.
The jeeps pull away and
The park opens its gates
To a new day.
An old man stared at a tree whose branch looked grotesquely out of shape-like a fractured limb. But he didn’t see a rope coiled loosely on the ground. It was still knotted.