A woman is walking her dog in the park.
She passes a very old man carrying an infant in a basket.
She wonders: first,
Is this his grandchild?
And then, Why are they allowing him to care for the child?
And then, Why is he carrying her in such a way?
Then she wonders if the baby is real?
Perhaps she is mistaken and has imagined the baby.
Perhaps there is no baby.
Perhaps it wasn’t a baby but a doll.
Yes: That must be it.
It was a doll in the basket and the man is crazy.
The homeless man is taking the baby that is a doll to the park.
Then she thinks she really didn’t see the man at all.
She has imagined him.
She has made him up in her mundane morning.
Her morning is mundane because she is loosing her mind.
She can’t remember how old she is or leaving her apartment.
Or, (more importantly),
How old her dog is.
She is crazy but so far no one knows.
No one has noticed the slippery thoughts sliding in and out of her memory
And she is scared.
The winter is long.
The park is cold.
There was a baby
And she is loosing her mind. The baby was hers though.
There was a baby that was hers. The baby was stolen from her.
She never knew why
Yet she knew she was crazy. So where would she go now? She wondered where
If she sat long enough on the bench perhaps it would come to her and then
She could go there.
The small brown leaves crumpled and reassembled at her feet.
The squirrel rasped some nuts.
The wind blew in some daily park people like characters on a treadmill: silent.
Here a bent over nanny there a passel of ladies
Who knew their direction like nervous birds in formation?
Would she stay the night? If she sat completely still
Would she be invisible? Her skin so white and her hair
So pale? As she forgot, she faded. As she faded she forgot.
Babies lost, imagined people, squirrels trained to execute summersaults,
Old age arriving before she knew it,
Stealing her life right out of her head.