Three Laps Before Dark
by Loretta Diane Walker

Last week, a surplus of sun.
Today, a cache of cold and drizzle.
A mélange of melodies from grackles
camped in a bulky pine.

We compete with a frosty wobbly wind
as we tread our way through the flapping flags
lined along the path in Memorial Garden Park.
A clique of ducks waddle onto the grass,
hungry but we have no bread crumbs to give.
With empty hands stuffed in our pockets, we side-step.

Shadows of our childhood hang about,
both of us childless.
Me, the big sister. You, the little sister,
as we walk in scraggly light.
Look. I point out patina colored statues—
a little girl somersaulting, a boy crawling through a log
and two children playing leap frog, their dog a spectator.

We chatter continuously, catching up on the last few months
as darkness chases us around the park.
On the last lap, you hug your jacket tighter; I unzip mine
as my body tangles with Tamoxifen induced heat.
Three fortunate pigeons swoop down, peck on donated dinner
as we admire the bronzed girl seated with her legs crossed.
At the lip of her skirt, a laurel of mums, petals yellow
as a fresh bunch of bananas; I take a picture of her
as night pokes the final holes in this day.

Illya's Honey Literary Journal

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