Afternoon Stroll

Dedicated to
Billy Ricci
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Where have all the rabbits gone?

Using my hand as a visor, I shield the sun's reflection, and look up at the giant clock-tower, stationed at the center of the village square. The oversized, round, face mocks my existence, as the numbers say, 'tic, tic, tic..' Constantly, the hand skips forward. However, time is yet to reach the destination.

A wreath hangs in an office window, all dressed in flowers that will never grow, and a silver bow for a formal hello. Can't the inviting eye realize that this bound ivy is dead, and the decoration is a memorial, marking an unmarked grave? The deceased is the earth, the building a headstone. I can spy this tomb, and hear this truth, although many others cannot; unlike the earth, buildings cannot talk.

I wonder, I wonder, what shade the world would be, if each of us lent a smile to our passing brothers and sisters. Oh, what a techno-color treat we could create. The most appealing reality is that this gift would be free. Free of discrimination, free of neglect, free of malice. We could change the gray, if only we could accept the colors. If, indeed, we so hate useless spending, why then do we choose to put such unaffordable value, on values? We as human-beings complain we cannot afford, what could already be free.

Precious! I think as I walk through the park and view the beauty of a young child, while his mother sits on a dark, green, park bench. The little boy must be about the age of seven. Such a gracious year to be alive! Filled with endless curiosity, and wonderment. I remember- Oh, how I remember, discovering this mystic kingdom with such clean eyes.

He appears to be talking to himself. I wonder if he is singing nursery rhymes, or if he is speaking to an unseen friend, that only his magical eyes can see. Wait! What is that he is holding to his delicate ear? This little angel has become a puppet- as I notice that his tiny hand clenches a cell phone!

Why would his mother allow him to choose this way? Does she not see the castle in the sandbox, or how the swings have secret wings, and if you close your eyes you can feel them fly? No. She does not see this place waiting for discovery, as she is to consumed with the boys cell phone clone-Nokia, which apparently has affixed itself to her own ear. She is arguing loudly into the plastic piece; about money, I think, as she shouts "Why should you care about me, as long as you get paid!"

If only, if only, she could comprehend that the faceless enemy on the other end of the signal, will one day become her son. Then, would she find the time to play?

Fifty-cents for a newspaper, which is imprisoned in a steel yellow cage. I peer in the mesh window-'Headline News; Eight Car Pile Up! Five Dead!' A pain bathes over my heart, as I think of the mechanical slaying. I wonder where they were going on the last day of their clock. I wonder who they have left behind in this world, who they were, who they were yet to become.

'HONK!' A loud horn wails from the traffic which zooms past swiftly on Main Street.
Automobiles(H.M.C.)- Human mobile cubical. So many taking up space, and expelling their signature scent, to perfume our lungs.

Unfamiliar faces filed inside their H.M.C. Forward they move, like the clock,-to reach their destination. Can they possibly know that they- like the clock, will never truly arrive?-If they did, would they still be eating, drinking, talking, laughing, singing? Maybe.

Do the families that lost the 'Headline News! Five Dead!', think to themselves; 'If only they would have been on horseback, carriages, on a bicycle, or even foot- this massacre, would have never happened! They would be alive today; to laugh, and to cry , to succeed, and fail, but most of all- to love.' Maybe.

Before I carry myself home for a nap, under my loyal oak-friend; I take one more look around at this man-made forest.

I look at all the beautiful, gray, people who pass each other, shoulder to shoulder, yet their eyes will never meet.

I skim over the endless decorated graves, and the concrete meadow on which they stand.

The corporate children, who will never play.

The variety of human mobile cubicles- that have become our suicide necessity, for speedy travel.

The long row of yellow prisons, that are more than obliged to scream our self-destruction; for the low cost of fifty-cents!

Oh, and of course, the bright paper trail of 'must haves', that were so generously left along the roadside by the concerned citizens of gray; in the event, that I should lose my way home!

I start home with one final thought; Where have all the rabbits gone? I glance up at the giant clock, and as the hand pulses around the numbered face -still it warns, 'tic, tic, tic..'

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