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redlight

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wind threatens the red umbrella i clutch
trailing behind a smudge of blue
in the dismal slate sky, like
Mary Poppins soaring past
goose-feather clouds blotched
in fractal patterns
smoke and steam escalate

where everyone crowds
so much more
intriguing

than the graves of men
and women
and frank
who will never be more
than shadows
and if you shine your light upon them
they will evaporate
like that steam
rising
shadows turned to fluorescent light
glaring in a supermarket
no more farmer’s market

no need to look both ways
before you cross the road
it’s just a bus
a car
a truck barreling past you going sixty-five miles and hour
but don’t worry
the light is turning red for you
the truck will stop

jerk shudder
to a halt
let you past

they always do, though

not because
they see you and your misshapen congregation
of red and green and ladybug umbrellas
skipping by them

waving your thanks
not because they care

or see the man with the baseball cap
pulled way down over his eyes
trailing a hefty bag, sharp joints protruding
at awkward angles
or the pigeon
with feathers like an oil-spill
waddling with a head raised high, beautiful
despite everything. No
they stop
because the light is red
because red light means stop,
green light means


go
and it’s half a perpetuity

in between





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