Apr/May 2018 Poetry Special Feature

Sunday at North Pond

by Evan Richards

Found: in ABQ – studio art jewelry by Jessica deGruyter

Found: in ABQ – studio art jewelry by Jessica deGruyter

Sunday at North Pond

North Pond is murky brown
and ripples with diamonds of sunlight.
Lined with Green Ash and American Linden.
Luxury condos tower overhead.
Lake Michigan air carries the drone of Lake Shore Drive.

Small animals are hidden in the reeds around its shore—
rabbits, geese, and other things.
Ducks glide on the water and dive, heads under, feet kicking,
swirling and listing in the current.

They sail to the railing of an overlook on hope for the crumbs
the Park District says they shouldn't have—
bad for their digestion and attracts rodents. They quack, rapid,
as if arguing, their voices spouting.

Dogs walk—or are walked—past the overlook:
the decorous ones trotting free,
the ones who bark and like to sniff at trash cans
leashed and yanked along.

Two old men amble out of the waterfront restaurant,
deliberate down the shallow stairs.
They talk of the sunshine and the breeze and poached eggs,
disagree on where the car is parked.

A woman in a parka sits cross-legged on a bench and eats a falafel sandwich
that drips hummus and red oil on her notebook.
A few thin napkins fall from her paper bag and elude her in the wind.
She wipes her mouth with the back of a hand.

Families mill about, bringing with them their usual bubble of noise:
the steady creak of playground steel,
stroller wheels rattling over specks of gravel and ligneous debris,
scuffing steps and thin timbres.

A couple with a toddler takes pictures with their phones,
of the lake, of themselves, of each other taking pictures.
The man holds his phone in front of his face like a prospector
might hold a lamp up against the dark maw of a mineshaft,
as if necessary to make out what's in front of him.
"See the turtle?" The man asks his son.
"I'll take a picture and zoom in so you can find it."


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