CONVALESCENT HOME NEXT TO THE PARK
Grass for fatigued feet, sky made for licking,
water – what swims and, chittering, tumbles along
observing children’s book rules. Paradise.
They sigh in satisfaction over the grill, lounge
lazily around the music tent, dance in short trousers
by the drums. Riding stable, tennis court.
Behind the highest wall lurk the cracked up,
the legless. They quietly glide to their garden
on caster beds and wheelchairs. The goal for today
was an extra step, was an extra ounce. Now the struggle
for bodily control falters, now those still with use
of an arm shakingly lift a mug with its straw
for a sip. In their silence the park rises up,
inescapable: cartwheels, roller skates, dogs,
a ball. They, in their war chariots, bow their heads.
They listen numbly to a song that’s now alien:
running feet, a horse rearing in its box.