A Poem on the Website of
the Red Dirt Writers Society

by D. J. Russell (Mar 2007)

The day is beautiful
And golden
With a sweet breeze
That blows along memories
As lightly as leaves.

I, like memory
And the leaves before me,
Have come to rest
In this suburban oasis.

The city-sanctioned paradise
Was once my home
Of sorts
Where high-dive cannonballs
And swing-set excursions to the moon
Have all blended together
Into lazy summer afternoons.

It is a graveyard now where,
Although children still play and scream,
A wasteland
Of decaying buildings
And skeletal swings
Serve as markers
For what I think of
As better times.

As I look into the depths
Of the empty pool,
I see the ghost
Of my pubescent brother
Tossing me, screaming,
Into the pee-muddied pool
Only to see my specter self
Rebound to the surface
Spitting water and laughter.

One hundred yards away,
Adults huddle in quiet conversation
Around remnants of birthday cake
And chocolate-stained ice cream
While the guest of honor
Lies sleeping
In her motherís arms.

The laughing and splashing
Become echoes and fade away.
The little girl, the foaming water,
These morph back into their ghostly forms
And are broken up by the wind
Like smoke
From a lazily burning fire.

And once again
I am alone
In my Oasis.

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