I am sitting on an old rickety bench in the park.
Not far from that park I was surrounded by houses.
On the bench next to me is a packet of cigarettes.
I am sipping on some kind of soft drink.

A warm wind is blowing.
Not far from that park is the main road because I can hear the cars and busses passing by and making so much noise.

Then I see all kinds of people walking through the broken steel gates with gloomy, tired faces.
Am I the only jovial person there?
In the distance I hear a church bell ring and for five minutes out of respect, I remain silent.

Those tired faces don’t hear the sound of that bell or the preacher’s voice bellowing out.
I see the weight of their baggage on their backs slowly dragging them down.

Not a smile creases their faces or plays on their lips.
As if they did something vile and cruel that for many years still haunts them like a ghost of Christmas past.
Though they are not in prison, they might as well because someone is judging them and gave them a life sentence with no chance of parole.

I am smoking a cigarette though I can’t say how many I smoked that day because I lost count.
My eyes began to survey the skies for answers to their maladies but none was forth coming.

One of them walked over towards me with faint hope that he could trust me.
I began to see the ancient worn out battle scars on his body.
I share a smoke with him as if we are life-long friends.

He slowly opens up to me and tells me his life story.
Tears began to roll down my face as I cried like a raging river.
At the end of his story I told him to forgive himself and move on towards healing.

What happened to the rest of the weary faces, I couldn’t say, all I know is that it’s time to forgive.