(Time to go home)
The streetlight was
outside my second-floor bedroom window,
about sixty feet away,
kiddy corner from me,
but right across from Packy’s Bar.
At night, it dimly lit my bedroom.
(I didn’t like the pull-chain single bulb
that hung from a chain in the middle of the room.)
There was another light
a block farther up on Main Street,
and another was down on Washington
where a traffic signal clicked
when it changed to another color (all night long).
It had to be late and quiet to hear.
I didn’t care.
When I pushed my bed next to the window,
I could feel and smell smoke-free night air.
I saw and heard street and sidewalk sounds,
I watched the glorious night rain,
and sometimes people who were quieter at night.
Summertime I could see bugs flying around the light
as I listened to the raucous people up at Packy’s.
The light was near enough
to work with my mind adding drama to boredom
as the nearby maple-tree limbs and leaves
silhouetted diabolical shapes and shadows.
That’s how I saw them.
Frightening then. Old friends now.
Along with rain, the streetlight showed me
falling snow or eerie fog on dark nights.
Streetlights comforted me.
Now, when I get up before sunrise, I look out
to see another lonely, bored streetlight father away
on a much quieter street with no bars (just houses with old people).
I recall the days when I looked out for the light to tell me things.
I still do.
Look both ways to see the light.
Mind the gaps, the bars, and the interesting shadows.