Young and Old


It must be free day at the zoo—
The sidewalks are much fuller than I'm used to.

Many families pass me by;
One pair is lacking
In the category of companionship.

The daughter rides on her father's shoulders,
But they aren't in touch.

Instead, I hear him from a block away,
Loudly braying at the cell phone in his hand.

As they pass, the girl regards me
With the cynicism of the very rich.

She seems to think herself an empress;
As for me, I'm consigned to the gutter.

She must take her pleasures where she may,
I remind myself.

Farther down the boulevard,
A tall woman has taken care
To coordinate her colours.

She is green from head to toe—

Mostly lime, with a hint of darker shades
Here and there, like leaves
That fall within a certain range.

Her jacket and her slacks predominate,
The white of her blouse provides visual relief,
Her purse is like a darker leaf.

Her heels are young leaves, pale green;
Her chiefly blonde hair falls below her waist.
The desire to bloom exceeds her years.

She carries one red rose.
As we pass, she lifts it to retrieve the scent.


©2016 Michael Fraley




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