The park is dying.
At this time of year, the grass should be tall and green and full of vitality
But the relentless heat has shrivelled it to yellow straw, and it lies half-dead on the cracked and dry soil
The water fountain is not laughing. It has been cut off to save water and its ponds gape up at the sky, panting for a drink, desperate and thirsty
The pigeons have fled, down to the river, where at least they can cool their wings and the water still flows, even if it is only a sluggish trickle
Above the ground, the air shimmers, as though even the oxygen is boiling
You can feel the heat with every breath – it burns your lungs and scorches your temples
There is no wind. In the houses, every window is thrown open, hoping to coax in a loving breeze… but the swings in the park hang lifelessly with no wind to push them around
You can feel the pressure in the air. It feels like a mighty weight on your chest, pressing on your heart, sitting on your lungs


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