Monday, November 18, 2013

People Watching

Written by M Kelter

Originally published at Invisible Strings

Sun, sky, car-sounds.

A dog rears up, leaps forward. The owner swivels away, runs off. The dog chases. The owner stops, turns around...arms raised, fingers out like claws. A gesture of pretend-menace, signaling: I'm-going-to-get-you. The dog hunkers down...runs the opposite way. The owner chases.

Trees sway. Swathes of grass move in unison. The wind sifts through it like incense. Strong wind. Potent incense; blossoms, cut grass. Things tumble: leaves and paper.

Joggers go by in pairs. Guy with a golf club swings, hits...pauses, swings. A horse in the distance walks slowly, going nowhere. Birds watch other birds. I sit on a bench, in the sun...hands over eyes like a canopy. Looking around. Listening, feeling.

The clouds are thin, gauzy. The sky a hard blue plastic. Planes needle into it like splinters. Glinting, slow...threading their silver exhaust.

Owners let dogs off leashes. The dogs chase and play; they nip at one another, circle, bark. Guy on another bench leans forward, looks at the ground, talks on a cell phone. He keeps shaking his head, running a hand through his hair.

The wind finds a new plaything: a large book bag. Orange-colored, empty. It cartwheels through the middle of the park, bouncing, inflated, moving at a quick pace. Behind it...also moving fast, but not keeping a little girl. Around four-years old. She chases it...arms thrust forward...hands opening, closing. She says the word "no" over and over. She's crying. Behind the girl...also moving fast, definitely catching a mom. She chases the little one...arms reaching out, saying "No, honey! Stop!" over and over. Three points in a line, stretching forward...drawn by wind and loss. Graphing it's shape over the field of the park. A living, fleeting geometry.

Book bag hits a shrub, stops. Girl grabs it. Mom grabs the girl. They walk back, hand in hand...girl squeezing the bag to her chest.

People run, walk, swing clubs and play. I take it in beneath canopy-hands. I close my eyes.

Car-sounds, footsteps, wind.
The park breathes with people.

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