Creative Writing Ink March 2019 Winner

CAL ANDERSON PARK

Charles Leggett

 

The water tumbles down the conical

Coal-dust-coloured fountain; after trickling

Between up-jutting stones it stands, a pale

 

Penumbra, rendering a flickering

Of streams of light from the nearest of the lamps.

This park’s guitarists, lovers, frolicking

 

Dogs. Its shirtless would-be Frisbee champs.

Its joggers, strollers, chess combatants, moss-

stubbled boulders, and its child who stamps

 

His feet and wails. The mixture, there across

Eleventh, of façades both new and old—

The nineteen-twenties brick alongside dross

 

Heaved up five minutes ago as condos, sold.

These lines, of trees and benches, lamps and pathways.

Illiberal zoning lingers to withhold

 

Construction of much anything that strays

Above the generous canopy of trees

Lining Eleventh. This, in effect, arrays—

 

Excepting for the mild trajectories

Of spires, antenna towers—a subsigned,

Whole other line. Or else it’s that one sees

 

The whole park mounted, framed; or feels confined

In someone’s morbid science fiction zoo

(Both Vonnegut and “Star Trek” come to mind).

 

The fountain, as it gathers darkness to

Itself, transmutes, and now a whitebeard drools

In wind. The water only stays in view

 

When moving through the lamplight, which now pools

Upon its surface: one discerns a swell

Of soldiers, as in old fast-motion spools

 

Of wartime battle footage, as they pummel

Forward, are cut down by the pursuant

Gloaming. Then the stillness: aquarelle

 

Of silence as a skin of depth and scale,

Impervious, a living death in oil.