The Park

The park was just down the street,
Its entrance guarded by the cannon at the VFW post;
I don’t think we were expecting a Communist invasion any day soon -
Maybe it was there to protect us from creatures that might escape.

The park was enchanted, you know;
There were wolves that roamed at night -
You could hear them all the way from our house -
And pixies who lived in huts made of woven vines.

In the winter, when the creek at the end of the park froze over,
Some sort of alchemy transmuted our rubber boots into silver skates
That let our feet glide about with the skill and elegance
Of Hans Brinker or Sonja Hennie.

The old foundation at the edge of the creek
Was a portal through time and space,
That transported us to the Alamo
Where we bravely fought at Davy Crockett’s side.

Across the road was the old fallen tree
Its empty branches blowing in a time storm
That carried us off to Sherwood Forest
To join forces with Robin Hood and his band of merry men.

At the center of the park was the playground
Where the swing set launched us into outer space
To thwart the evil plans of Ming the Merciless
Or scurvy space pirates.

I visited the park not long ago;
The mists of time had cast a veil of forgetfulness throughout,
Leaving no hint of enchanted creatures or great adventures;
Save for the cannon, so much smaller now, vigilantly standing its watch.

As I meandered across the empty field that had once been the playground,
A familiar feeling interrupted my silent lament for a world that had vanished;
I glanced up into a nearby tree, where I spied, hidden in its branches,
A mighty fort.


Copyright © 2005 BJ Swartz

Go to Memories of Oaklyn, NJ.
Go to Swartz/Roller Poetry.

BJ Swartz
Updated 18 November 2013