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The End of Fall in Washington Square Park
By Nathaniel Goldberg
Copyright 2000 Nathaniel Goldberg
A poem about Washington Square Park in New York City. (Published in "Cat Bird Seat," an anthology of poems.)
The trees now naked and old
pointing towards the universe like so many
fingers, their dead leaves
laying on the ground, golden bright.
The junkies in Washington Square park
have long since gone.
Haunting music the only
remembrance of times
gone by when we were young
and played our guitars sitting
at the edge of the fountain
singing folk songs, while the
old men played chess with
the kaleidoscopic colors of
autumn paraded into the darkness,
the old men now a memory. The only thing
not changing was the archway.
Here I grow older with each season
watching the endless procession
of mothers pushing their bundled
infants in strollers past the fountain
unaffected by the oncoming cold.
The old men continue playing chess
till darkness claims the final winner.