Poetry Porch: Poetry


And I Have Known the Tedium of Playgrounds
by Michael Blumenthal

And I have known the tedium of playgroundsó
the swing sets rising like suns into the blustery air,
the sandboxes alive with their own dust,

the jungle gyms climbed and risen through
and swung from by the monkeying offspring,
the ever-hopeful mothers in high-heels

and the hopeless ones in their doughty aprons
and hairstyles of wind. I have seen the fathers
nervously gazing around, not quite knowing

what to do, and the lustful babysitters and au pairs
offering the fathers a new life, rekindling the fires
of youth. I have seen the children, morally free

and impervious to the happiness of their elders,
cackling like drunken goats on the parallel bars,
hiding from and seeking their arthritic keepers,

and I have seen the day dismembered by noise
and graffitied child-yelps, I have sat here
on restless afternoons that might have been spent

amid the wet come-cries of older children. Yes,
I have known the tedium of playgroundsó
the children flying happily into the future,

the parents smoking and fidgeting, grounded forever.

Copyright © 2008 by Michael Blumenthal.
This poem is part of AND, poems by Michael Blumenthal, to appear with BOA Editions in 2009.