The Buddy Bench

Betsy Holleman Burke

A red truck

unloads wood at the boy’s school.

Day after day he watches

parents build a bench — four slats

for the back, four

for the bottom

four sturdy legs, two slight arms.

Then a week’s sanding.

Now smooth wood, painted red,

bold stenciled letters. Who will be first

to sit?  He watches children hang

from monkey bars, hide in thickets.

But no one comes near.

Leaves cover the seat— red, rust, brown,

a few dead branches, an

empty bag.

No room to sit.  White flakes

fall, snowballs fly, a snowman rises.

Then spring, small

yellow flowers all around. Someone

will come. It would be warm

in the sun.

The bench stays empty.