Sandals Scraping through Eternity

walking about my
neighborhood listening
as Debussy fills
the day with nocturnes

scurrying squirrels
leap toward safety
from the old thinker
plodding on along

is there more bird song?
do feathered cousins
whistling and chirping
approve these preludes?

a bee knocks my hand
on way to freshly
planted flowerbed
gathering pollen
along the path home

at hilltop, none plays
outside orphanage
I have never seen
kids around on swings
or basketball courts

across the street
a quiet nursing
home for elderly
folks ― a different
kind of orphanage …

my sandals scraping
concrete, a pebble
lodged in the tread

step step ― scritch… standing
still… step step ― skliph

stopping a moment,
knocking out pebble
with my cane; young man
stopping to make sure
i am okay: “Just rocks…”

a quail flutters out
bob-white whistling
between us; the youth
eyes-wide like some Holy
Ghost revelation

chuckling we move on
each to opposite
of life:

him where more time waits
as patient order;

me where eternity’s
shadow slinks backward
into Chaos’ arms.

Maggie Malady

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