Along the southern boundary of Forest Park there lies a fairly substantial bit of land cut off from the rest of the park by US40, AKA Interstate 64, and in this section there lies Turtle Playground, a creation of the late Bob Cassily, and a favorite of my children as they were growing up.
Two very large turtles made of concrete, a eastern spiny softshell and a common snapping turtle, and a number of much smaller ones decorate the park. Seven concrete turtle eggs, three of them hatching turtles, sit within the semi circle of a smooth concrete serpent, part of which serves as a bench. In more summery weather, when the sun’s radiance warms the concrete, it soothes the weary soul who sits there, and makes the minding of children’s play a soporific exercise. But in my mind, the concrete turtles feel threatened by the presence of the surrounding concrete snake.
I had walked there from a quarter mile up the street, examining the trees, looking for red cars on the adjacent highway, and wondering if any birds were in said trees. If there were, I could not hear them over the interminable roar of the passing vehicles. A poem formed itself in my mind:
In Turtle Park, the children run
Between the reptiles, having fun,
While parents sit and while away,
The hours of a summer day.
An easy stroll from homes so near,
And concrete monsters cause no fear,
In hearts of children having fun,
Between the reptiles as they run.
And, in addition to generating a bit of doggerel, I found my first blooms of the new year!