no parking Sunday

turning left
on 56th,
I step out of Brooklyn
and into a festival, the
moment my feet leave
the sidewalk.

in the distance I see
the whole street blocked off,
and decide to make my way up
on the pavement.
it feels no different
through the rubber soles
of my one pair of sandals,
but the breeze seems
more accessible, here,
separated from the rising buildings.

without fear of rushing cars,
barbeques have sprung up
to offer all their smells of summer,
and trays full of burgers
are eagerly passed around to
hungry grandmothers, who,
finishing each in three bites,
argue over which has been
prepared best.

children blaze by on tricycles and scooters,
all of which are the same
candy shade of pink.
the kids tirelessly race
each other down the small hill
of this block, before pushing
themselves back to the other end,
scooters dragging limp behind them.
some pass me two, and even three
times as I continue walking,
their hair sailing and smiles
set firm in their cheeks, as the
eyes of mothers hide secretly
behind tables, with
hands ready to spring out
and prevent any impending crash.

an inflatable pool is filled with
young boys in t-shirts, and
cupfuls of water are brandished
against any girls who
make an approach.

a haphazardly tossed Frisbee,
also pink, makes its descent
out of the sky and lands
directly in front of me.

Dare I pick it up?

I too have reveled in games
of catch in the middle of the street,
though one very distant from here.
Perhaps I could toss it back
to the triangle of boys, and,
seeing me join the game,
the men nearby would put down
their deck of cards
and come play as well.

visions of a street-wide game
cross my mind, as well as of me
sitting with the grandmothers
to judge the burgers, and, later,
being taught the secrets of dominos.

Yet,
with a thick book under my arm,
my eyebrows firmly serious, and my
too nervous anticipation of rain,
it becomes clear that this street
was not closed off for me.

so I leave the families
to the cool breezes they have
rightfully won from life.

and I head upstairs.
to apply for jobs, and eat
leftover pasta, and find my hill

that is worth climbing up
just to race down.

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