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
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.