Poem of the Week

Bardascino Park

Grady Chambers

Then evening really fell, the fireflies rising
From the grass like smoke.
Rebecca kissed Jessica on the cheek;
Annie was standing on tiptoes
At the curb, waving goodbye
Through the dusk.
I stood apart from the others
To smoke my cigarette,
Wondering if I saw myself as good.
Mark trailed off at the park path’s curve.
Michelle unstrung the lanterns from the trees.
Standing apart, my coldness seemed clear to me.
When I was alone, I felt such simple affection
For those I cared for, promising to only
Approach them with kindness. Why, here,
Among others, did that kindness of solitude harden
So easily? What kind of love was that.

Grady Chambers is the author of North American Stadiums (Milkweed Editions). His poems have appeared in The Paris Review, American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, The Sun, BOAAT, and elsewhere. You can find his work online at gradychambers.com.
Originally published:
May 11, 2022


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