The Old Days

That old bench.

 

Now it’s covered in snow.

Not many come to sit during the snow season,

Though you might, sometimes, see an old man

In a dark brown overcoat and an old, but cared-for, brown felt fedora

Sitting for an hour or two.

The faded slats are still solid and holding fast

To the wrought iron frame with the curling armrests.

 

The snows eventually give way to rains

Which do their damndest to soak the old wood and rust the old iron.

The wood is well treated and the iron well painted, though.

As the weather warms a bit, the occasional lunch-time passer-by fails to pass by and stops for a pause.

The man in brown still stops by to sit sometimes.

 

The rains give way to pollen,

Coating the bench in soft green.

The nearby trees don’t have enough leaves, yet, to shade the bench, but

The sun is still weak enough that shade isn’t needed.

Kids play more frequently around.

The green dust pollen barely has time to settle before smaller hands and behinds have brushed it off.

Our fedora-ed friend comes later in the day, when the bench is likely empty.

 

Summer heat has long baked the boards from deep brown to a grayed tan.

Despite the trees’ efforts to bring some cool shadows at mid-day,

The iron rails can get hot enough to burn the unwary.

The bench has no lack of sitters and leaners and shoe tie-ers.

The old man still wears the hat but the coat is stored for the cold to come.

 

Brilliant colored leaves,

Scarlets and golds and pale yellows and crackling browns,

Drift and scatter across the bench.

Evening strollers sometimes stop,

Sit,

And enjoy the view and the quiet.

The old man is wearing the coat again.

 

I’ve heard that he and his wife used to come sit

And talk

And enjoy the view

And hold hands.

I’ve heard she’s gone now.

 

I don’t know if that’s true but I like to think that it might be.

 

It makes a good story.

 

If it’s true then maybe the old man is just coming out for a visit with an old friend from the old days,

That old bench.

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