Companionship

Companionship, Copyright Silverleaf 2014

Companionship, Copyright Silverleaf 2014

Earlier this fall,
on an unusually summery day,
I watched an elderly couple
as they sat contentedly together
on striped beach chairs
in the middle of the neighbourhood park.
They were catching the disappearing rays
of a sun that had slipped,
like them,
past its prime.

Throughout the summer
they had been a fixture there,
in the same Gilligan-style hats
and brightly coloured speedos,
scented with coconut oil,
jazz playing on their aged stereo
and a picnic basket between them,
each reading an old, slim, yellowed paperback book.

They are charming, unassuming characters,
exchanging the odd thought or impression,
happy to chat to passers-by,
occasionally feeding the squirrels
and not bothered when dog noses
dip into their picnic.
With such an easy companionship
and friendly manner,
one imagines they have been together forever.

It has been a month now.
The brilliance of the turning leaves on that day
has faded,
and with it the early autumn warmth.
Rainy days pile upon rainy days,
the sky perpetually dressed
in a shroud of shifting greys.

I wonder what those two are doing
and where they are now,
where do they go
on winter’s cold, early evenings?
I imagine them lounging by a fire,
surrounded by music
and a collection of well-read classics.

Or perhaps they follow their old friend the sun
as it slips down south,
perhaps right now
they are sitting side-by-side
on their striped beach chairs
in the same Gilligan-style hats
and brightly coloured speedos,
scented with coconut oil,
jazz playing on their aged stereo
and a picnic basket between them,
each reading an old, slim, yellowed paperback book.

 

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