A Walk to Prospect Park

Late Friday afternoon
In Brooklyn
The sky, bright blue
With a sun
Still hours from sleep

Along Stratford Road
Arab, Jewish, Latino
Children play on the sidewalk
Skip and yell and laugh
Push younger siblings in prams
Draw chalk pictures and lines
Into the cement

People walk their dogs
Run with
Headphones plugged in
Feet pounding
In the runner’s shuffle
Pa! Pa! Pa! Pa!

Cars blare music
Setting the mood for Friday night
A child cries, comforted by its mother because it fell off its scooter
A fire truck races, horn blaring
Lights flashing

At the edge of the park
Three small boys perch in the gazebo
Plotting mischief
Dad is busy at the grill
Mom chats with neighbors

A woman sits reading in dappled sunlight
She sits in close proximity to her parked car
Where she has left her phone, wallet and handbag
She has told her husband she is working late
This is her only half hour in the week
For quiet reading

At the baseball field
The men’s games are in progress

Further down
A family sits eating pizza
The large box obscures the child
As you walk past
You see him munching on a cheese slice

A little girl
Three or four,
Wearing pink floral leggings under a baby blue dress
A purple scarf over her long dark braids
Walks by with her mother
The girl giggles for no apparent reason
The mother gives her a look
They keep walking

In the other direction
A mother and her little boy
Three or four
Walk by
              Don’t touch it honey
              People should really pick up their own dog’s poop
                            It’s not Harry’s poop?
                            HARRY’S POOP!

Two girls on bicycles come tearing by
The smaller girl yells
              LET’S RACE-3-2-1-GO!

I realize
That for a whole half hour
I wasn’t even thinking about cancer.

Luisa Lyons