The kid who watched me do yoga in the park

A few weeks ago,

I was in the park over my lunch hour

Doing yoga in the sun.

I was in headstand

With my legs pretzeled into lotus.

I was listening to the

Birds chirping,

And enjoying the spring breeze on my stomach

Where my shirt had peeled down,

When I heard a voice:

“Hey, I can do that.”

I curled at the waist,

Lowering my braced legs to the ground,

And looked up.

A teenage boy was kneeling on the

Green pitch next to me.

He put the tip of his head on the pavement

And raised his legs above him,

Basketball shoes tiptoeing against the sky.

“See, I can stand on my head.

I don’t think I could do that leg thing, though,”

He said, his voice as steady as if he were

Standing upright.

“You could if you practiced,” I said,

Moving into my next set of poses.

(I hesitated,

Are we going to chat?

But then I just kept moving.)

Shoulder stand:

Legs and torso slicing up into the sky.

My eyeballs,

Behind my sunglasses,

Rolled left:

The boy was perched on the concrete wall,

Toes brushing the ground.

“Do you mind if I watch?

I’m not invading your privacy am I?”

“No, no, that’s fine,”

I said quickly.

My legs folded down over my face into plow,

The backs of my legs pressed up against the sky.

From between my knees,

I could see him.

His hands were resting on his thighs.

We were silent for about ten minutes.

I moved through my poses.

Breathing as I’ve been taught.

I didn’t forget about him,

But the fact of his presence receded

As if he was backing slowly away.

When I stood up into

Eagle,

Twisting one leg around the other leg,

And one arm around the other arm,

I quick

Checked.

He wasn’t looking at me.

He was looking up at the sky.

———————————-

After I was done,

And rolling up my mat,

We chatted.

He had just moved up from

Chicago

To live with his mom.

He was a senior.

He played football,

And wanted to be a

Car engineer.

He was going to go to the

U.

He thought I should put

My son

In football

If he couldn’t sit still in class.

That’s what his mom did.

We walked

Sort of together

Back toward the road.

Me toward work,

Him toward his alternative high school.

“See ya,” I said as we walked in different directions.

A few other times,

I went back to that park over the lunch hour,

And he was there every time,

And every time,

He would come and

Talk to me

Or sit by me

As I moved through my yoga poses.

One day,

I started going to a different park.

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