We stopped at our usual black grated institutional bench.
Someone placed a red sticker on its arm.

Luckily no dog walkers appeared today causing my 
little man to go into small dog syndrome.
He snarls and barks keeping all dogs at bay protecting
me from some imaginary danger.
Puffing his ego and embarrassing me.
Putting shame to his therapy vest at home.

Under the spreading chestnut elm we were shaded.
Birds chatter perky gossip from tree to tree.

Three couples stride by in sync.
The women chatted hands a flutter but the men
focused eyes straight ahead.
Just like my Jim.” We’re walking not talking.”

Serious bikers with helmets, gears, and spandex zoomed by.
Families with young children new at biking took their time.

Walkers and joggers passed at various speeds.
A few nodded hello.

On our return to the car Clancy lunged at smells in the grass on full alert.
Ears perked. Tail up. Trying to impress with his prowess as he drops
peemails on blades of grass, bush or tree imagining what he would do
if I dropped his leash.