Spirit in Southside Park (Reprise)

I’d dressed myself in black that day
From boots to jacket, skirt and hat
My little girl appropriate
For dirt the local playground at

It rested in a grassy swath
Which swelled into a little hill
And made a home for flowers, bees
While over all sweet sunshine spill

I sat me there upon the bench
And sent my child to play
Got out my pad and pen, my latest
Poem on the page to lay

When came from out behind the hill
A woman dressed in white
By hand holding a toddler
In frills and bows — a small delight

Her face was just the shade of ash
No shadow lingered there
And in a classic widow’s peak
Grew her dusky hair

Too young she seemed for even this
Very young child to be her own
Yet from her wise expression
Much trouble she’d already known

Her bearing had such sweetness
A truly haunting grace
As she walked in I sev’ral times
Glanced up to see her face

Each time I did I saw her turn
At that same moment toward me
Between us silent sisterhood
Blossomed instantly

She sat herself upon a bench
Her daughter went to play with mine
I set myself transcription to
Of poesy divine

But every line or two I craved
The sweetness that pale visage of
The innocence and tragedy
It spoke so clearly of

And just as it had passed
When she was walking to the place
Each time I lifted mine
She too turned her exquisite face

And we exchanged then glances of
Such pathos and such love
As no mere words between us
Could have done the justice of

Event’ually the moment came
She held her hand out to her child
And we shared one more lasting gaze
At once domesticate and wild

I noticed as she walked away
Her yet pristine attire
No park bench smirches evidenced
Its whiteness yet entire

And as she walked toward the hill
Glanced back again at me
Sitting awestruck on my bench
One time, two times, and then three

Just when you’d think that this strange tale
Had come unto its destined end
As she and her beloved child
Disappeared around the bend

The bells of some near church rang out
Into the clear bright air
And a wedding procession
Drove by on the road just there

I hope her wand’ring’s ended now
Tight in the arms for which she seek
For never more love have I felt
For one with whom I did not speak

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