Richard Sanger | INTO THE PARK


Into the park in late summer on your bike,
the sudden cool of trees and shade, the breeze
down the front of your shirt
cool against your chest, linen billowing,
a frisson tingling your nipples,
as the afternoon heat
on the grass starts to retreat,
the bike whirrs and into the park you go,
deeper, this is your park, you know
its groves, its benches, its three-storey trees,
the depressions where rain gathers and puddles freeze,
and it changes every time you come—
that’s why you come, the anticipation,
you don’t know what you’ll find here,
as the shadows grow in the bushes, or who,
who you’ll meet at the bench
someone you know,
or someone new,
or someone you knew
a long time ago
now with eyes that have seen so much more
and lines in his face, or hers,
and deeper you go and further back
no idea what you’ll say when you meet, or do,
what new arrangements or conspiracies you’ll fall into,
what raw truths,
what entanglements, what dangers.


Author’s Bio

Richard Sanger’s poems have appeared in many publications, including the TLS, LRB, and Poetry Review, as well as in his collections Shadow Cabinet and Calling Home. His plays include Not Spain, Two Words for Snow, and Hannah’s Turn. He has translated works by Calderon, Lope de Vega, and Lorca, written for numerous journals, and both taught and been writer-in-residence at various universities. His most recent collection, Dark Woods, published by Biblioasis, was named one of the top ten poetry books of 2018 by the New York Times.