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.