All day long they have nagged.
Dragging them through shopping centres,
shushing them with toasted cheese sandwiches
and strawberry milkshakes at lunch.
Through the long afternoon of visits
from granny and the aunties. More food: fairy cakes
topped with icing and quartered cherries.
By now they’re high on sugar and delayed promises.
She slumps in her seat, the mom is tired.
listening to her radio near six at night,
dusk coming quickly on a winter evening.
They play. Shrieking. Climbing the jungle gym,
swinging from the bars, sliding down the slide.
They’re joyful, hair in children’s pigtails.
All around them, the cars of the parking lot, a
green false veld, pretend grass for the jungle gym
wedged between the Indian restaurant and the Woolworths.
She sits, tired, parked in front of this makeshift play area,
an eye on the children.
Another child approaches, hesitant, younger, unsure,
what to do when the jungle gym’s already occupied?
I watch too, going in for food from Woolworths
in the city where the parks aren’t safe,
and the children play in parking lots.
(Published on www.southernrainpoetry.com)