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IN GOLDEN GATE PARK THAT DAY (Excerpt)
by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

In Golden Gate Park that day
a man and his wife were coming along
thru the enormous meadow
which was the meadow of the world
He was wearing green suspenders
and carrying an old beat-up flute
in one hand
while his wife had a bunch of grapes
which she kept handing out
individually
to various squirrels
as if each
were a little joke

And then the two of them came on
thru the enormous meadow
which was the meadow of the world
and then
at a very still spot where the trees dreamed
and seemed to have been waiting thru all time
for them
they sat down together on the grass
without looking at each other
and ate oranges
without looking at each other
and put the peels
in a basket which they seemed
to have brought for that purpose
without looking at each other

And then
he took his shirt and undershirt off
but kept his hat on
sideways
and without saying anything
fell asleep under it
And his wife just sat there looking
at the birds which flew about
calling to each other
in the stilly air
as if they were questioning existence
or trying to recall something forgotten…
***
Read “In Golden Gate Park…” by Lawrence Ferlinghetti in its entirety at poetryfoundation.org.

“In Golden Gate Park…” appears in Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s collection, Coney Island of the Mind (New Directions Publishing Corporation, 1968), available at Amazon.com.

Painting: “Speedway Meadow” (Golden Gate Park, San Francisco) by Pat Gray, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Prints available at fineartamerica.com.