Haiku Ballad #3.1
Park Bench by Susan Mehr
“Are you answering your mobile?”
I raise my stare unafraid still tears burn my eyes. ”Nope,” I answer, shake my head and shrug my shoulders to a decision made well before the volley of incoming calls.
Seated shoulder to shoulder on our special bench with a tender smile and warm eyes my intended welcomes my response. My stare drifts into the nothingness, and I sigh. Now I find the strength to accept that time keeps moving forward and waits for no one. I can’t stop thinking; my brain hurts with the pain of knowing what my future will be, and as the weight of my heart sinks further inside my chest, I realise I have no control. An empty hollow consumes and drags me further in the depths of my abyss. I have no energy left to fight. A distraction; leaves rustle in the distance, the beginning of death, summer’s bloom turns into shades of red and orange, while a hint of a cool breeze quenches the last of summer’s heat.
“Days are cooling,” his voice foreboding.
“Yes,” I answer, the only word left inside my head.
“Talkative?” A slow smile warms and erases the creases between his brows.
I smile back, “I can be if I try.” Tears flow over my cheeks, I turn my head resting my temple on his shoulder and breathe, only to listen to my breath echo in the void of my being. Unhurried his hand rubs my back while fingers massage the right places trying to comfort the emptiness inside my soul.
He closes the book he pretends to read and rests it on his lap. Like I haven’t noticed. The present circumstances are hard for him too. I watch his palm cover mine, a warm blanket soothes the pins and needles in my fingers. I look up, and his lips brush mine. I blink and peer into his eyes: his eyes sparkle, the only place I find happiness. Then they stare into mine, they’re bursting with conversation, darting to every corner of my face before his lips move and hear him whisper.
“They phone because they care.”
I blink and lower my gaze to our hands; his hand squeezes mine. The smile on my face diminishes to a harden sadness. “I know,” uselessness looms in the moment of my reality. His hand slides over the side of my face in a warm caress, cupping and raising my chin. It breaks my heart to see tears well, tears he didn’t want me to see. Raising my hand and brush away the hair from over his eyes; unruly dark curls keep falling then I lean forward and kiss his lips. Suddenly he pulls me in an embrace. My face presses against his chest, and we listen to an endless silence. I shut my eyelids and feel his heartbeat and inhale the sweet scent of his kindness.
“I love you.” Words choke in his throat.
“I love you back,” I reply. Both our chests rise and fall inhaling deep controlled breaths while his fingers weave through my hair and massage the back of my neck.
Our embrace tightens, and he holds my head close to his heart. He rests his cheek against my temple and hums. We rock, a soothing tune warms and I melt into his chest. “Till the end, I will love you,” a hint of a whisper fills the air.
Autumn begins, leaves fall covering the ground. Now he sits alone, stares into the nothingness and ringtones from his mobile fill the air. He peers and does nothing, waiting for the rings to stop. Now sadness hardens his face. Smiles and laughter fade same as summers’ warmth. He holds his book and glances at the cover. There’s nothing much to see.
A minute turns to two then three. In the stillness, plays with the corner pages before turning the front cover. His eyes fixate on a letter addressed to him as it falls on his lap and draws a deep breath. His name penned with delicate strokes dances on the face of the envelope. Fingers trace every curve as embers of happiness flicker on his face. A moment later his eyes pool when he inhales my scent from the perfumed paper envelope. ‘He smiles.’ I witness his eyes shut, and his smile etches deeper. ‘It kindles memories. He’s thinking of me?’
I peer from the heavens as he rips at the corner pulling out a folded piece of paper. Love in his eyes still sparkles when he reads. He looks to the heavens. Does he know he is looking at me? Tears pool and spills over. He’s trying to look brave — his brows furrows. ‘Please read more,’ I pray, while my heart aches. Then he lowers his stare and continues to read.
‘You’re sitting on our bench, and in spirit, I’m sitting next to you. I have so much to tell you. Our dream was never meant to be. This bench only gave us a moment in time. I never thought I’d leave so soon. Our love shone; now its treasured as the twinkle in your eye. I know one day we’ll have another chance to walk a tree-lined path and sit on a special bench in heavens garden. Please remember our special times.’
Remember the time.
We kissed, and your hand held mine.
Our special moments.
Sandwiches ‘n’ tea.
Summer picnics you and me,
Under shades of trees.
Crisp Winter’s snuggles,
Steeling sunlight, we loiter,
Warmth amidst cool breeze.
Spring flowers warm bursts,
Smiles infect our hearts sing,
Lost in time we sit,
Days pass you stay here with me,
We fulfill life’s dreams.
Time waits for no one,
Weathered leaves rustle and creek,
New dawn shapes the morn.
Autumn days begin,
Your face no more before me,
Emptiness I see.
Two now become one,
So many stories to tell,
Picnics are no more.
Heart fills with sorrow,
Life flashes before my eyes,
Drowning in despair.
Many times I’m so afraid.
Where am I going?
First glow creeps dawn peeps,
Your soft words still comfort me,
Dances a crusade.
Magical moments lips kiss,
Hidden behind trees.
Two sets of footprints,
In silence, they leave their mark,
Friendship beyond words.
I will promise you,
Forged with tears torn from my heart.
I’ll always be here.
Now alone you sit,
Cat purrs a welcome ‘hello’,
A friend I send you.
His eyes refocus at his shoe and a kitten curls by his feet.