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.
A poet, teacher and a teacher of teachers, David Cappella is an Associate professor in the English department at Central Connecticut State University.
He is the co-author with Baron Wormser of Teaching the Art of Poetry: The Moves and of A Surge of Language: Teaching Poetry Day to Day. In 2003, he was the resident teacher/poet for the Frost Place Conference on Poetry and Teaching. He is a former co-chairperson for the NCTE’s Commission on Poetry. He has presented workshops on the teaching of poetry in public schools in Connecticut and throughout the United States, including the National Endowment for the Humanities.
His poems have appeared in The Connecticut Review, Diner, The Bryant Literary Review, The Bradford Review, The Providence Journal and other journals. He is the winner of the 2004 Bright Hill Press Poetry Chapbook Competition for Gobbo: A Solitaire’s Opera, the first poem of which was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He was the featured poet, “a blue plate special,” in the Winter 2006 issue of Diner. The complete manuscript of Gobbo: A Solitaire’s Opera was a finalist for the 2006 Bordighera Prize.