As along the path I strolled

I came upon a tree

Casting its giant dark outline

 Across in front of me.


Into its thick magnificence

A heart of love engraved.

The edges were all folded round

Ensuring it be saved.


Cupidís arrow was slicing through

The names carved of the pair,

Thus immortalizing

 The couple standing there.


I stared intently at the etch

And tried to visualize

Their life and times of long ago

 With romance in their eyes.


As I relaxed on the park bench

Beside that ancient tree,

A shadow stealthily emerged

And sat down next to me.


The two dimensions flowed across

The slotted seat and back.

Its whole demeanour showed defeat

And sagged between each crack.


I looked around for explanation 

Of why this came to pass;

But there was just that ancient oak

Casting shade across the grass.


I strived not to be overt

With my observation,

And shifted slightly over from

The sullen apparition.


Askance I glanced for inspiration 

Of why he had appeared,

But when I looked at him edge on,

He completely disappeared.


Outlined were a pair of pants

 And pointed collared jacket,

A sharp brimmed hat concluded

The muted silhouette.


As sagging shoulders shook silently,

A cooling mist grew round.

Charcoal hands held charcoal head,

While grey tears hit the ground.


Time stood still that afternoon for

Reasons I could not fathom.

My petty worries became quite trite

As I sat beside the phantom.


Then almost imperceptibly

The temperature grew warmer.

My dark companion straightened up,

His shoulders grew much firmer.


The profile slowly faced the tree

- its sunshade lying there -

Then he resolutely joined that patch

And vanished in the air.


From the spot where he had gone

I was surprised to see

One name had been erased from

 The carving in the tree.


Do spirits yearn for resolution

Despite eternity?

Had long unrequited love been

Resolved with finality?


These thoughts remained throughout the day

 And instilled the memory

Of the special time that sad shadow

Shared his life with me.

© J.Graham Ducker




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