A Walk in the Park
Lois Engelman

A walk in the park reminds me of being a little girl
as early as I can remember
digging with bare hands with the closeness of my mother on a bench
chatting, smoking cigarettes, white cotton gloves, bright red lips
hand shaking
needing to pee Oh No too late we have to go behind the horseshoe brick wall
hope no one sees me being held with my panties down hoping it doesnít trickle down my legs.
Back to the earth to dig again with lines that run down my leg clearly defining the dry dirt and the stream of mud the pee has made.

A walk in the park reminds me of the hot summer pre adolescent days
when it was fun to run through the sprinklers in the gated playground
not worrying if my underwear showed through my clothes
cooling my hot summer body from the New York City Heat and Humidity
My fingernails still dirty from pulling flowers and making Indian headbands from dandelions

A walk in the park reminds me of a fall blustery day sneaking smokes before the relatives arrive for Thanksgiving dinner
bunches of teens trying to escape the day long event of too many people crowded into a little apartment
cousins from the suburbs not understanding the city life I led.
Them in their Papagelos me in my Keds
how out of place we were with each other

A walk in the park reminds me of hot summer nights behind the bushes
with a boy, hoping his lips will touch mine. Now my hand shakes...but not from Parkinsonís
grass stains not easily removed from my white oxford shirt
must toss it into the incinerator

A walk in the park reminds me of the baby carriage I strolled with
that had a red ribbon on it to keep the evil eye away
my baby and myself, fingernails spotless

A walk in the park reminds me of sandboxes and two beautiful children filling dumptrucks
swings that had to be pushed and the cry of Look Mom I can do it myself! The fear that one would go too high and fall

A walk in the park reminds me that Iíve been there ..done that
I hope I never stop walking in the park too many memories I might forget
hopefully more to be made

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