Reflections on a park bench in autumn

Time is winning this game,
score tied, one to infinity,
the last stop on this old trolley line
looms ahead, witless, wanton.

It’s cold, let’s face it, but
I can’t help loving the slatted
sunlight, the already tattered leaves
flinging themselves underfoot.

I may be hopelessly anchored
here in this silty backwater
astride these gifts of algae
given long ago,

but I am surely more than just a worm
through time. I sink, I swim, all a-whim,
the winds washing the stained earth.
Still, there are fates involved, I’m told.

Dreams, like phantoms, peer out
from under sheaves of light.
Live with ghosts, and before long,
you begin to feel thin yourself.

A sparrow lands at my feet.
All I can do is stare dumbly.
“I’m so sorry,” sighs the breeze,
“May I do it again?”

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