it started so badly. a day
for headaches and shouting, temper and tears. so I thought.
a day to be endured, not enjoyed, this too shall pass
every little gnat bite of irritation unbearable on friable skin
the day before someone had said, come to the park with us? and I said sure
on the somewhat curmudgeonly premise
that misery loves company.
the day was bright, hot
but the park shaded, inviting. I sat under a tree
talked and ate fruit, and listened too
while children ran and laughed together
in the patchy summer grass.
market day it was, and
the pleasures of the beach stalls lay open to us. we wandered
the sky the most brilliant blue, hats at full mast
fingering stamp blocks and necklaces, books and wall hangings.
my little one fell in love with a carved wooden owl, and I
with a dragonfly painting
iridescent and inviting
in the heat of the sun.
lunch at a cafe - rarest of pleasures - and the knot
that had twisted my insides to sour ruin was unravelling
then the library, cool and calm
a middle girl lost in a book, a galaxy away
and a little girl on my knee, her head against mine
as I read her Ten Little Ducks over and over.
finally, through the park to the beach
the Police band was piping
our steps carried on a wave of Amazing Grace
to play, cool and safe, under the pier
away from the sun, immersed in the water
sandy-home to wash and eat again
and the gnats no longer sting, although I still swat at them
coated in the armour of summer and love
as I am.
- Kathy, 25/1
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