Fascinated by his shabby sweater, cheap shoes, and expensive attaché I follow him through the park. Sitting down on a park bench he opens his brief case and pulls out an apple. He motions me sit beside him and offers me the apple. I take it though I’m not hungry, I resist the urge to arrange his unkempt hair and run my fingers over his unshaven chin. His dark eyes look through mine and into a well hidden soul.  He says he hasn’t worked in  a while and spends most of his afternoons by the pond watching the swans. Feeling as though I am eavesdropping a secret I stand, say good bye and lie, I have to go, I am late for an appointment. He asks me to come back again. I nod with no intention of returning.

That night I wake in a sweat. I rise and stand before my mirror, my hands lightly caress my body and my eyes spill unexplained tears. Compelled by longing we meet again and again. We feed yellow green pears to one another and like children our laughter echoes among the trees. The limbs of the Birch trees are alive with birdsong as though they sense our sweetness.

Too soon winter is breathing her cold breath through us. A snowy owl watches from the brittle bark of a branch. Where is the sun that burned like fire? The park is blanketed with hoarfrost, still camellia blossoms cling to broad leaved evergreens. Birds pull their frozen wings tight against their tiny skeletons.  Spring has shunned the park of sorrow. I tug his overcoat tightly across my shoulders, run my shiver of fingers through its rough threads. Overhead gray clouds reflect his eyes.  With no way to hold it back, we have lost one another. I call his name in the silence, in return a wild orchid tumbles down , I reach out my hand and catch it.

PS: written by John Hulme

“A shabby, tangled sweater, and a shabby, tangled life.

> Sometimes the most beautiful  of lives is just a fibre away from the ugliest.

> I’m scared, and lost, and alone,

> with the world’s most precious secret tucked underneath my arm,

> wondering whether to bury it in hoar frost or hold it high”.

copyright John Hulme

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Colline Cook-Chun

112 thoughts on “the Park

  1. Sometimes it’s sad when things run their course. I myself can’t help but wonder if either of them had a partner they were deceiving but there was never any mention of a consummation of the relationship so maybe the meetings were satisfaction enough?
    My one disquiet from such beautiful prose was either detection of a minor error, or a lack of understanding on my part. Awaking in a sweat she stands before the mirror with tears from her ears? Put me straight Hollie.
    Massive Hugs

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  2. What a beautiful piece dearest Holly. I read this and it makes me want to cry. There is so much incredible description in every line. It makes me think of Seattle and all the homeless people I saw everyday working downtown. Too many to rescue.

    “Too soon winter is breathing her cold breath through us. A snowy owl watches from the brittle bark of a branch. Where is the sun that burned liked fire? The park is blanketed with hoarfrost, still camellia blossoms cling to broad leaved evergreens. Birds pull their frozen wings tight against their tiny skeletons.”

    These lines are particularly touching. Beautiful sweetie. I hope you have a great weekend. Love, Joni

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        1. Hahaha! I must laugh or cry. one of our state reps has decided to copy cat the great state of Texas and pass some ludicrous bill attacking women’s rights in Florida. Anyway… dear Chuck thank you for the link, I was just browsing it now. Thank you for thinking of me too. 🌹🤗

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Well, Dear I think knowing what we know we should cry for our states and our country! Copy Catting Texas is almost always a Bad Idea! Probably next on the list is a State Fraudit of the 2020 election like the one Trump has twisted out of Abbott. I’m hoping this Jan 6 Congressional Hearing will show it was an insurrection and that they will start – calling a Coup a Coup! Have a great evening, Holly
            😊💕🌹

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  3. Holly, what a poignant piece. I have reread this several times and I can take the story down a couple of paths, which is cool. He could be a random homeless man who is a kind-hearted soul which draws her or is a memory of someone she knew as she wears his old coat and remembers him in winter as a metaphor for death. Or, maybe it is both. By the way, anyone who can use the term “hoarfrost” in prose or poetry is to be commended. Keith

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    1. Dear Keith, i actually love both of your interpretations. I think the last lines strongly refer to loss by death. Her curiosity is stirred by the incongruous nature of his shabby apparel and the expensive attaché, a reference to how one might lose their position and find themselves sitting alone in the park. Thank you so much Keith. You stir my imagination and cause me to look inside my own writing.

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      1. Holly, I do like the contrast of the expensive attache and shabby coat. Thanks for indulging my impressions. When I was venturing down the path of her knowing him, I was thinking of a homeless uncle that everyone had given up on, who she searched and found. I guess I felt this by her trusting in his kindness.

        Good stuff, Holly. Keith

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  4. Stunning, Holly. Your prose is so moving, and this one made me want to cry. I imagine that these two people came from different walks of life and yet their core connection transcended the ordinary into something profound that lasted long beyond death. Something sacred about this and it’s beautiful.

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  5. Imma stop saying you’ve outdone yourself. Instead I will say you have done what you always seem to do. Captivate. This story, to me, speaks of the fleeting nature of romance, even for the most fortunate of us. But the memories . . white hot embers inside the coldest winter, and the way you drop that orchid in there, it’s such a brilliant contrast as past meets present, intertwined forever.

    I’ll stop rambling. Beautiful piece, Holly.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. You have such a beautiful way with words, dear Rene. This is exquisite and I found my own eyes filled with tears and wishing their love could be for more than a season.

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