THE BENCH

 
There’s a bench in the park
where an old couple sit
holding hands and laughing
as the children play and flit
about on the swings and slides
with boundless joy,
inciting memories of when
they were girl and boy.

The antics of the kids so full
of life and carefree bliss,
their lives laid out before them 
on paths that time would kiss.
 
They’ve been sitting on that bench
for as long as I can remember
but the years have not been kind
and their shadows grow much longer.
Remembering the days when 
they would play and lark about
but now its all they can do 
to watch the kids scream and shout.
 
Just keeping to themselves, 
though they always have a smile
for anyone who greets them 
in likewise style.
 
****
 
There’s a bench in the park
where an old man sighs
as the lines on his face
tell of painful goodbyes.
He remembers the warmth
of her loving smile
and the twinkle in her eyes
that would always beguile.

He’s holding her hand
through time’s hazy mist,
she can still warm his heart,
a heat he’ll always miss.
 
Long years have passed,
too many winters he has seen,
the snows giving way
to the splendour of spring’s green,
but the frost’s seem to linger 
so much longer these days,
the cold bitter winds 
pushing well into May.
 
Just keeping to himself, 
never meaning any harm,
his tender smile 
still so full of charm.
 
***
 
There’s a bench in the park 
where an old man used to lie,
he never bothered anybody, 
just watched the world go by,
but the bench has grown barren, 
the wood damp and cold,
the joints a little loose, 
showing signs of getting old.

The children often glance 
across at the bench and say,
“Where is the old man 
and will he be back one day?”
 
Then they’d run off and play 
with their friends on the swings
until it was time to go home; 
to pack up all their things.
A glance, in sadness, 
at the lonely old bench
as onto caring hands 
they would lovingly clench.
 
The park grows quiet 
for another lonely night,
waiting for the dawns 
bright warming light.
 
**
 
There’s a bench in the park 
where an old couple once laughed
over many long years 
until the day that they passed.
Now the shadow and the memory 
of their long happy days
are etched upon a fading plaque 
under a sunset’s lazy gaze.

The children, now much older 
and with kids of their own,
remember the smiles 
and the love they had shown.
 
The old bench was replaced 
with a sturdy looking seat
but even that is showing signs 
of long days in the heat.
But the smiles and the warmth 
can be felt unto this day
as, in the minds of those they knew, 
they smile and give a wave.
 
The plaque they placed 
upon the bench in the park,
where so much love had been 
and left its mark,
read:
 
“IN DEAR LOVING MEMORY OF TOM & PAT
WHO WOULD SIT AND WATCH AND HAPPILY CHAT
WITH HEARTS SO LIGHT AND SMILES SO WIDE
WATCHING THE KIDS AS THEY PLAYED ON THE SLIDES”

“SADLY MISSED BUT ALWAYS REMEMBERED”
 


* 
Written by Darren Scanlon, 23rd April 2015.
©2015 Darren Scanlon. All rights reserved.

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