Sandals in the Park



Sandals in the Park


Jogging along, I saw them in the park,

A pair of kiddie’s sandals, one atop

The other, alone in the cold and dark,

Looking like an abandoned movie prop.

Hula hoops and frisbees (forgotten lees

Of August and July’s barefooted fun)

I’d seen before, without the least unease

But, suddenly aware of absent sun,


Of keening wind and unfamiliar flight

Of black-winged bats, I felt my chest go taut

And shivered at the stillness of the night,

The moon’s inhuman eye, and then I thought

Of Sarah Payne (abducted by a sleaze)

And wondered, had her sandals looked like these?


[Seven-year-old Sarah Payne was abducted from

a cornfield in England, raped and murdered by

a convicted sex offender.]


Peter Austin


 Peter Austin has been published in Ariel Chart once before, and his poetry has also appeared in The Atlanta Review, Blue Unicorn, The Raintown Review, The Barefoot Muse, Able Muse, The Hypertexts and Fourteen by Fourteen, as well as in journals/magazines in Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Israel. He is a retired Professor of English.

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