David Cappella

Certain Children in Central Park

They command from the pram, these children,

in their nanny-powered strollers, little SUV’s

that bully the walkways and rule the paths.

They wield proud smiles from bikes with training wheels.

They beseech half-awake, unshaven dads

or tell their mother, “No.”  They do not want to go

toward the carousel. It’s the robin in the flower patch

they want. “Take me there. Give it to me.”

Bound by wrist leashes, they cannot run toward their desires.

They perform ballet moves they’ve been taught

at weekly afternoon lessons, prancing past benches.

Miniature Manhattanites, they talk New York.

They have money but do not know it yet.

They will be rich Democrats and vote with disdain.

This Saturday, if they pout, parents speak to them

as though addressing a board meeting or negotiating a sale.

They will demand “A’s” on school compositions.

These precious kids will experience William Blake

and not care less. They glisten in the morning sun.

Ashley’s and Courtney’s stare at boys

with eyes of a debutante. Do they like their nannies?

Mothers wrap their dripping ice cream cones

with napkins to protect their hands, to keep them

clean. Stickiness is not allowed to linger.

Their little fingers clutch at the air, their little eyes stare

at flowers they cannot touch.