Nicole Zelniker is an editorial researcher at The Conversation US. A journalist as well as a creative writer, she has had several pieces of poetry and two short stories published. Check out the rest of her work at nicolezelniker.wordpress.com.
The animals are out: geese navigate
the water, tiny black feet peddling
under fallen sticks and between rocks
and leaving a trail of feathers behind.
Dogs run up and down the hill,
break free of their leashes,
run after tails and chase squirrels
until they reach the safety of the trees.
Leaves skim the lake, falling in September
until winter turns it into an ice rink,
trapping unsuspecting fish underneath.
I wonder if they can feel the cold.
The swings squeak, rope tied
to wooden beams, bare feet pumping
against the concrete just below,
on a set made just for me.