The Parasol Parable – a poem by Alan Toltzis

The Parasol Parable

Summer sun forgave nothing that noon.
A block away, Mercy noticed the woman saunter
down the hill. Pink parasol,
spinning on its axis.
Necessity. Not affectation.
Not a parasol.
Umbrella really.
It would have to do.

Blue on blue kameez.
Green paisley cuffs. Shalwar,
no particular color. So versatile.
Could have gone with anything.

Mercy decided the woman looked decidedly
out of place among:
Rundown brick rowhomes.
……………“Repoint. At a minimum.”
Cracked cement sidewalk.
……………“Patch it. A girl could trip here.”
Crumbly blacktop.
……………“Unfilled potholes. Repave already.”

In daylight. Broad. Broiling.
She thought about seeing things
as they are.
And then about starlight.
That infinite spark on a cool summer night.
Darkness. Distance. Exaggerating
the smallest points.

“Truth. Like starlight,” Mercy similied,
“always leaks out. And everyone looks up.
Mercy was all smiles,
satisfied to wait for the infinitesimal.


Alan Toltzis is the author of 49 Aspects of Human Emotionand The Last Commandment. A two-time Pushcart nominee, he has published in numerous print and online journals including Grey Sparrow, The Wax Paper, Hummingbird, IthacaLit, and Poetry NI. He serves as a Contributing Editor for The Saturday Poetry Series in As It Ought to Be Magazine and as an Editor for the Mizmor Poetry Anthology. Find him online at and follow him @ToltzisAlan.

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