Five houses from my house
Past the small church,
the chain link fence,
and the barking bull dog
Just beyond the telephone poll
Covered with an excess of ivy,
spilling into a green puddle on the sidewalk,
was my park with its swings and slides.
It was the place I pilgrimaged with my brother
dragging my mother as often as we could.
In truth there was no special grace
imbued into the rust colored plastic
and the short stubby little swings.
There was a dingy balance beam
Surrounded by tall pine trees
but the park was otherwise indistinguishable
from any other Pacific park,
or even other parks I lived near,
except I once took my grandmother to that park.
We walked together past the ivy
and the sign for the middle school,
talking about who knows what,
as I showed her my place where I played,
returning the hospitality she had shown at her house.
Her hand around mine or my brother’s
listening as we showed her our ordinary park.
We played and walked back.
She made us apple dumplings in our kitchen.
That park was richer for those apple dumplings.