Thursday, September 29, 2016


Downtown waiting for a bus
The homeless man in a sleeping bag is sitting up, alert.
There is still a lot of night ahead,
hours of darkness and he has batteries to spare in his flashlight.
He's testing them, lighting up the streetlight standards.
Dancing his flashlight up and down the length of the pole,
cheap fun while the batteries last and a good a way as any
to while away the caged minutes between sundown and exhaustion
when the cycle of surviving the city streets
can begin again.

He flashes a limp pool of light far into the night, dancing it up and down the street
barely illuminating a man on a ten-speed bicycle who rides by now.
He sits high in his saddle. Hands-free like teenagers in the suburbs of the '70s.
His bike is silent as it rolls down the hill.
The rider turns his head to track the source of light
appearing suddenly his peripheral vision and he glides by
the three of us waiting silently at the bus stop,
bowed over our smart phones, oblivious
 to the dancing shadows and flashing lights of the city street at night.
The only sounds are wheels on the road and the crickets on the pavement.

It's a quiet night in the city.