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A Faithful Congregation

A park bench affords old men leisure time to cull sounds from the air and snatch acorns

from branches high above a busy street.

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They meet here every day making their way

from small enclaves tucked below street level

and back rooms shut off from tempting sunlight.

They talk of old wars and forgotten times

when streetcars clanged against the summer heat

and long lines wound around movie theaters.

They wear Bogart smiles and Gable mustaches

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and speak of FDR as next-door kin

and they talk of winning on dirt diamonds

and visits to relatives in small towns.

And when the world intrudes, they pause to tip

a cap, pat a child, or watch a girl

being swept away by a passing bus.

They fuss and fidget but mostly they just sit

and let the sun have its way like children do

when sleep begins to overcome their play.

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