The Poetic City: “The Promise 8-14-15”

(photo by: Tobias Begemann)


The Promise   8-14-15  
Walking around Audubon Park
A young mother approaches
Pushing her baby’s carriage 
At a slow and sensible pace
With her child facing forward
Protected from the sun
The mother can’t see what I see:
Her little girl reaching down
Grabbing her shoe
Pulling it to her face
And working it back and forth
Until successfully yanking it off
Then, looking up 
To see me smiling at her,
She waves her shoe in triumph 
And, with a grin, 
Invites me to share her secret
As we pass each other
I keep a straight face
Giving no hint to her mother 
That something might be amiss
Instead of looking back to see
What happened to the shoe
I continue my walk at a steady pace
Savoring the sweetness of our conspiracy
And saying a silent prayer
That this moment will register
Somewhere deep inside the little girl
As a promise…
A promise that this grown-up world
With all its troubles and cares
Will always have room in it
For a little mischief and play 


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