Where once there was
a beautiful garden with
sunshine and rainbows 
chalked on the pavement;
now there are only streaks of color
bleeding into each other
as summer rain pours down.
Pretty in its own way,
dreams fade and promises lost,
as color runs down the gutter.
The artist must have known
their vision wouldn't last;
bound by the nature of their medium,
chalk is meant to be temporary
and easily washed away.
Yet the effort was made 
to share beauty in the world,
simple kindness put forth
at no cost except, perhaps,
a few pieces of chalk,
a tired back, and dirty knees.
A back can be rested,
knees can be washed,
but the beauty and kindness live on
in the memories of passersby,
who glanced down in their travels,
before and after the summer shower.
A joy reaffirmed in the sunshine;
a comfort to someone alone in the world.
Maybe on another day 
the artist might return 
with a box of colors
to remind them 
beauty and kindness exists
in an ever changing world,
and we must catch it while we can.

~Elise Skidmore ©2023

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  1. I love the way you imagine others point of view. You bring a simple thing like a chalk drawing to a moment to savor and enjoy.

    1. Thank you, Lucille. I think that’s what poets do–show us that we are all in this together. A person may not consciously be thinking something, then read a poem that says, “Yes. I know that. I’ve felt that.” For some reason, I had the image of chalk drawings bleeding into each other in the rain for the past couple of days. This afternoon, I pulled this poem out of it.