When I found out I was dying
I started going to the park
every day to watch the ducks
mothers and children swings
breathe grass gardeners broken lights
patting the bench
the empty stage
I'd sit alone an audience
of one for the silent
mystery play, the miracle
play beside the slide
the girls watching each
other scared to pump
higher. I don't talk to them
but I like to watch this
world spin around me
with a half-smile, I
look up the mothers' legs
up at the oak galls
lovers on a blanket smelling of hormones
the mirror at the center of the merry
go round watching the horses
alive winnowing
prance the cakewalk
kicking back their heads
and laughing out loud.

I am the terminal reflection
the sundial on the ground shadowing a cold bronze circle
-- tick tock tells me to ghost it.

I know exactly what the red
fish under the miniature bridge are thinking
and what the black fish
are thinking, the mind games
they play,
but if I ignore them they cease
to exist
just like myself
in this city park.



E. Martin Pedersen, a San Franciscan, has lived in eastern Sicily for over 35 years. He teaches English at the local university. His poetry has appeared in Verse-Virtual, Frigg, Literary Yard, Strong Verse, Ink Sweat & Tears, and others. Martin is a 2011 alum of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers.