Triangle Park: 23rd and South
Also at the fountain: four students licking at Rita’s (i.e. crappy) water ice, arguing about whether Picasso was cubist or modernist. Then whether or not Michelangelo was rich.
A very old, very neatly dressed man in handsome leather shoes and hearing aids sat in a plastic Adirondack chair near the fountain where I’m also sitting—we’re all a little tilted backward—after awhile he got up and methodically started fishing the coins out of the fountain, working his way around. He was small, and having trouble reaching the coins in the middle, above which tufts of water sputtered. I was afraid he would topple in, so I reached in with my long arms and scooped the coins towards him, leaving them within his reach. I forgot to roll my cuffs so they got wet. The day was warm. He did not acknowledge me but simply went on collecting till he had all the coins.
Triangle Park: A Blast of Light
The fro-yo place put out a screen and was playing some sort of Pixar movie. Maisie stole my ZZ Packer book because I showed her the first sentence of “Brownies” (“By our second day at Camp Crescendo, the girls in my Brownie troop had decided to kick the asses of each and every girl in Brownie Troop 909”). The sun was shining directly on the screen, blotting out most of the picture, but at one point, the Pixar girl was playing a violin while (?)standing on rooftops(?), something minor key and mournful, in its way brutal. In real life, a little real girl stood on her mother’s lap at the next table, her feet digging right into her mother’s thighs, staring at the screen and asking, about the violin playing cartoon girl, “why is she sad? why is she sad?” I noticed that the real girl was brown, her hair braided in bumps. Her mother was white, nondescript in the way we mothers of a certain age become. Maisie licked bloody raspberry fro-yo off her spoon and read on.
Daisy Fried is the author of three books of poetry: Women’s Poetry: Poems and Advice, My Brother is Getting Arrested Again and She Didn’t Mean to Do It. The recipient of Guggenheim, Hodder and Pew Fellowships, she is poetry editor of the literary resistance journal Scoundrel Time and a member of the faculty of the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers.