ALTERED
by LB Sedlacek

Assembly

Place the
frame
on a

flat
clean
surface

bend tabs
back
remove

protective
film
insert

picture
artwork
life

bend tabs
forward
and

press
to
secure

hang
frame
on a

flat
clean
surface.

Nobody’s Playground

I noticed the slides first, hidden in the
trees, trees grown up around camouflaging
the unused abandoned playground
the utility building red with doors wide
open – it is empty, the picnic shelter vacant too
the merry go round with metal bars
shaped like upside down letter u’s
I remember running beside them
and jumping on and spinning round and round
but now the articles, the experts say
they’re too dangerous to ride
the swings are farther down the hill
in the tall oaks and unshorn grass and
green leafed trees I can’t identify
the slides – there are 2
one high and long, one shorter not as
tall — both metal, rusty
they probably got hot in the sun
legs sticking on the way down
but the metal doesn’t shine
its polish worn smooth and tarnished
it’s a sunny day but
the playground is still invisible
where it vaporizes
unless you happen upon this clearing
where it materializes
as shadows and shapes
I squinted at first wondering what
my eyes were seeing
I wondered at first if I had ever
climbed on the slides or swung on the swings
I stopped at first not letting my kids
play in it — too old too unreliable
I believed at first that I’d just imagined it
that silent playground melting beneath the trees.

Bluish Blue

Snow
at the top
of the hill
a lookout at the
bottom
a group of kids
all related
going sledding
how did we not know
those nights
the neighborhood
would be our last
times
together
the hot chocolate
the snow cream
from the freezer
and sometimes a
bonfire
how did
we not know?

Altered

How could a simple handshake
turn into something more
everyone has had this happen
or maybe not enough
to write about it but
it’s beyond the four
stages of grief because there’s
no reason to be
shocked or sad in denial
there is every reason
to be mad at shadows
at circumstances and at
you.

About the Author:

LB Sedlacek lives in the mountains of North Carolina with her family and hyperactive dog.  She enjoys swimming, reading, traveling and volunteering with her local Humane Society.  Her local poems poetry book, “Poetry in LA” has given her the opportunity to teach poetry workshops at elementary and middle schools around the area.  Her poetry books include “The Architect of French Fries” (Presa Press) and “Words and Bones” (Finishing Line Press). 

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