Lying in fetal position, turned to right side, on furthest edge of mattress.
Past midnight, room dark, neighborhood quiet.
Staring through frost-rimmed window at stark moon.
Anti-abortion activists on undergrad campus earlier today,
Decrying murder of potential lives.
If potentiality is the criterion,
Then every adolescent boy in history has committed genocide.
Into wads of Kleenex, old socks, and toilet bowls.
Future entrepreneurs, researchers, concert pianists, presidents,
Pulitzer winners–millions at a time–mercilessly flushed to the sewer
Among the banana peel
And Pop-Tart crust
From this morning’s breakfast.
Across the darkening park grounds,
The indistinct hillocks of which glow softly in the purple aestival dusk,
Tens of thousands of fireflies scintillate,
Their caudal luminations streaking upwards from the loamy earth
Like sparks borne aloft from the coals of a smoldering campfire.
We too arose from Wild Horse Green:
Alex and Trevor,
Taylor and Brent and tomboyish Stace.
The hillocks then were castles,
To be defended with stick swords and pine cone grenades;
The fields were African savannahs,
Teeming with housecat lionesses and Old Man McIntyre’s Labrador hyenas;
The elm copse was a military fort and, later, a shelter to adolescent trysts.
During college, the pavilions housed picnics and occasional, accidental, baby showers;
Now, graduation parties and wedding receptions and more baby showers;
Eventually, retirement celebrations and funerals.
The graveled path clicks and rasps underfoot.
Few of the entomic flashes crest the treetops,
For the park employs many wardens:
Bats and nighthawks,
Strategically spun spiderwebs,
Children with cheesecloth nets and Mason jars.
One flare breaks free, blazing—a reverse meteor—into the mauve twilight,
Adding to the starry firmaments
Its fleeting, chartreuse fluorescence.