August 14, 2008
By christine garibian, Glendale, CA

I lie on a bench
In the park.
The sun warming
My back.
It’s Sunday morning,
And nobody’s here.
Peace and calm.
I just indulge in
The rare tranquility.

I need time to float,
Time to do nothing.
There’s just too much
To take in
And not enough
Brain cells.

And your face.
Somehow I need to forget that,

The voice of a child
Interrupts my contemplation,
And I turn my head
With an effort
To see a chubby,
Mousy girl
With her dull brown hair
In a ponytail.

Something about her
Pulls at my memory,
But in my lethargy,
I can’t place it.

She says.

It strikes me as odd
That she’s sitting
In the baby swing
Instead of
The regular one,
And I ask her why.

“Oh. Well, you see,
I made a promise
To myself,

I close my eyes in pain.

“The first time
I’m ever going
To sit on that swing,
It’s gonna be
With the boy I love.”

I smile at her naïveté.

“He’ll push me
On this swing”

Something about that
Is a bit familiar…

“And then he’ll
Lean in
And kiss me”

I open my eyes
To look into hers,
And hazel penetrates
My soul.

“And he’ll tell me
That he
Loves me.”

I realize
That I have never
Been on that
Tattered swing.

I sit up quickly
Only to find
That the girl
Is gone

And the park deserted
Once more.

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