In the Park

by Nick Anthony

He wakes up on top of me
Wearing the same tattered clothes,
As dank and filthy as garbage
On a hot and humid afternoon.

He slips away every day before dawn,
Before they come to check on me
And clean my worn out skin,
And clear my space of thrown out dreams
And rusted needles, still dripping
With the cheap thrills of last night.

Before noon, my aging father comes.
He sits and feeds his pigeon wives
Who coo their surrogate affection
In place of the love he lost long ago.

The smile that brightens his face
And illuminates the vast depths of his longing eyes
In the rare moments he speaks her name
When he and I are all alone
Make me long to meet her.
I drink from his poisoned well of passion
And am sickened by my voyeurism.

My children always arrive after school.
They climb all over me,
Making my old bones creak with joy.
Their love warms my wood
And gives me hope for my father
And cleans my conscience
Of my vile nightly relations.

Today, a man brings me flowers.
The light of the setting sun plays off their petals
As he sits with me a while and admires them.
For some reason, his face is sullen
As he slowly rises, lays them on my lap,
And walks away without a word.

The flowers are a breath of fresh air
That I graciously let waft over me,
Until the sun sets and the coked-out thugs
Come, carrying needles and drugs.
They holler and hop on my lap,
And kick my legs and leave me sore,
And litter my space with brewing tetanus.

It’s late when the burnouts finally leave me alone
In my dark area beneath the burnt-out lamp,
But I know he will always come back:
Late, in the dead of night,
When I’m vulnerable and welcoming,
Looking for comfort and love
After the day has used me.

Thank you for reading. Please leave comments and critique if you have them. Read more at Rafiki’s Nikki


6 Comments to “In the Park”

  1. Reblogged this on The Militant Negro™.

  2. Nice and interesting. Really imaginative.

  3. Wow! (Reading poems like this makes me want to know the backstory)

    • Thank you! I wish I could say something profound here, but honestly I just wanted to know what the daily life of a park bench would be like. This poem is the result of casually watching a bench near my work throughout the last couple weeks

      • No that totally works for me. I am frequently
        curious about what inspires writers to write certain pieces. The daily life of a park bench is profound enough for me.

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