Current Occupation: Diane Funston is currently retired from working with adults with developmental disabilities and at-risk elementary school children.
Previos Occupation: Diane’s former occupation, and the one depicted in the poem was working in the gift shop of a zoo as a retail salesperson and cashier.
Contact Information: Diane grew up in Rochester, New York and has lived in California for over 20 years. She has been published in San Diego Poetry Annual, Summation, Poetry Now, Whirlwind, and several other publications. She enjoys gardening, making mosaics, her family, including three dogs.
I sit in the picnic park,
lunchtime from the working day.
Sport-utility vehicles flank my Corolla,
absorbing the sun with their noon-time mass.
Blond children burst from Explorer's doors,
trekking across plastic playground
towards a serpentine tunnel slide.
I eat my sandwich, chomp on cold cuts,
smile and nod to younger mothers
at a different table.
"Bill—Bob—Ben—got his promotion last month",
say the moms, sipping Snapple, watching the kids climb higher.
"The vacation to Colorado—Connecticut—Cape Cod—was superb.
Oh, Ashley—Alicia—Allison—don't tear your Oshkosh
On rusty public swings.
Sorry girls, it's just the stress
from the remodeling,
the workers are taking longer
than I imagine a job could take."
They remain animated in parallel conversations.
I get up, crumble wax paper,
pack my recyclable drink bottle
in my Arctic Cooler bag.
I pull my car from between trendier shadows,
drive back to the working world.
Later, I enter my apartment door.
Later still, after clients—children—clothes washing—
I sit at my table
seething silent stanzas,
aimed at blank paper,
like lawn darts landing
in suburban backyards.