Sitting Out at Man Mo

Across from the shoebox sized temple
where tourists read guidebooks among swirling incense smoke
children bounce and sway and slide and squeal
across the playground’s three attractions.

Their mother, in yellow flannel pajamas and slippers,
cradles her Wellcome shopping bag on a nearby bench.
Yellowing leaves waft and fall
on cool winter air, collide with concrete.

Two bundled elderly women slowly sway in silence
on opposite ends of a bench.
Their wrinkles spread across their faces
like banyan roots across a stone wall.

They gaze beyond
at the temple,
at the taxis,
at camera toting tourists,
at life passing and passed,
at nothing,
and still the children squeal.

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