Park Benches

Old green benches
Surround the park, like
Guards situated on prison walls
Watching mothers come to exercise
Their children and watch them fall.
Full of energy, a fountain of youth,
If only we could harness that energy.

Old man sits upon a bench on the hill.
Seeing everything and seeing nothing.
His mind on replay, looking at memories
From long ago, brought forward from
The ancient archives of his soul
Like old movies where you know the ending, but
Wish with all your heart that you could
Change the outcome.

A sad world of: what ifs, if only I did this,
Could have been, should have been, but wasn’t.
Salted tears depart from weary blue eyes,
Slowly at first, they follow weathered grooves
Pools of teardrops form at his tired feet.
Replay and rehash sad times from long ago,
The curse of a good memory.

Pain knows that you cannot go back.
Nor can you un-reap what has been sown.
Take heed this message you with youth.
Avoid regrets and you will avoid
Lonely park benches, live life to the fullest,
Take time to play and learn to love.
Do not concern yourself with the attainment of wealth.
In the end it will not comfort you in ill health.

A park bench is not the place to
Find out it was a trick: “look after number one”
“Survival of the richest” you would have been
Better off digging ditches and pursuing
The things of the heart, this will
Sustain you in the end.
Better tears of joy than regrets.
Life is a one way ticket, enjoy the ride.
Always live to love and you will love to live!

Charles has been a social activist for 35 years. He can be reached at : Read other articles by Charles.