August 22, 2013

The late summer sun was showing off
But the big old trees had seen it all before
The shade was plenty thick enough
For us to sit under
Side by side

The wide stretches of green
Were filled with
Soccer teams
And more soccer teams
Geese and more geese
Kids at the playgrounds
And picnickers
Like us
All in City Park
Side by side

Thick concrete tables and benches
With burgundy paint, fading and cracking a little
Covered by a bright red tablecloth
Held in place by
Gleaming bowls of potato salad,
Tupperware containers of cookies and brownies
Three-bean salad and
Side by side

The charcoal smoke gave the ceremonial feel
A smudge pot blessing
For travelers and their families
SIde by side

Mustard and ketchup
On burgers and buns
Balanced adeptly
On paper plates
Bending under the uneven distribution
Of sliders and salads
Side by side

Moms and dads
Brothers and sisters
Each at the perfect time
Sons and daughters
Boyfriends and girlfriends
Old friends and new friends
Sat side by side

The wind snuck in
Picking up plates
Then dying down again
No hurries
No worries
Eating aimlessly
Talking amiably
Fat and happy
Side by side

Then the rain came
Unconvincingly at first
Then believable
And we ran
Sweeping everything up hurriedly
Hugs and goodbyes
Fat and happy
Smelling of charcoal smoke blessings
We ran
Side by side

About the Author joangregerson

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