Bette J. Lafferty
Tampa Branch, Florida
It has been years since we first came to this little park,
where young saplings with limbs so strong
reached to the heavens to catch the popcorn clouds.
I remember our visit as if it were yesterday.
There was that hidden swing where love rose up
and gentle hands pushed against the breeze
and caressed my wounded heart.
You offered me a safe place to be free,
to laugh and to be loved again.
How sad to see the potholes riddling the lane
that once led to a lifetime of intoxicating tomorrows,
days filled with mountains climbed,
where sun-drenched beaches continued for miles and
hours of imaginary fantasy thrilled the child within us.
Now, aged with time,
the mighty oak trees hold only our memories
locked in the circles of their trunks.
Covered with blue-green fungus,
weakened branches cling precariously
waiting for the next strong wind
to take them down.
I know this little park was but for a season.
Yet, I’m thankful for it offered us a lifetime of hope and joy.
I linger for a moment longer,
hesitant to say goodbye
to you and to my dear little park.
But time calls for me to seek a new path
where untold memories are waiting to be made.
And who knows, perhaps, a new love.