A shadowy pattern of shredded umbrellas
crept imperceptibly across the casually kept viridian lawn
crisscrossed by ochre on umber footpaths.
The shadows intent seemed as though it might slip
down the sandy bank to sip from the moss-flavored lake.
I pitched my easel to pain en plein air in its dreads.
I scooted my gear in the penumbra
where the sun relentlessly nipped at my heals.
I was now the foreigner on the land I once squatted
I spoke the foreign language; English.
Fruit carts circled the lake
with Feezie Frost or corn-on-cob steam
wafting from their wheeled minimarts.
Vendors reached into its bowels
to extricate whatever quencher was requested.
Old folk toted bags of bread crumbs to feed the fowl
while vagabonds (some winged, most not)
slipped their cardboard shelters over their shoulders;
flaps like feathers were spread that they too might feast and fly.
Instead, they were served snacks of suspicious stares.
Blinds blinked open in the hillside homes.
Squinting, people peered out through the slats
at the morning spectacle,
eyeing their tattered and transient neighbors
while constantly assessing their threat levels;
evening orange, red nights and amber mornings.
Anxiety lived on both sides of the blinds,
except for the few free people who live without blinds,
transparent to see as to be seen.
Ministry is never minimal.
A tract cast into a faux fishers hand
might merely be a nibble now,
but a catch to the one
who angles tomorrow
in hope against hope.