I wish this shave ice would cool me
faster, and I’m glad for the shade
of this massive old monkeypod tree.
We used to run around here, play games
like Chase Master, Red Rover, so long ago
it seems another life, one that happened
to someone else beneath this ancient tree.
I watch an old woman feed the pigeons
crowding around her like hungry children.
You can tell she’s been doing this for many years.
The birds eat from her hand, perch on her shoulder.
A tiny boy comes running and tears through
the flock causing them to scatter, a clamor of wings,
and the old woman cries out, not a scolding,
but a wail of grief for the frightening the birds.
Amazingly, the boy goes over and apologizes
to the woman, something you rarely see,
that awareness in someone this young
Then he comes up to me and oddly asks
if I’ll let him have some of my shave ice.
Such a strange request; I stare at him
and wonder if I could be seeing the next me.