The rain has stopped
Pale kids emerge
from the Cedar Apartments
to play on the lumpy infield at the junior high;
their evening late fall shadows are stretched tall
to reach me.
I watch my daughter
as she makes laps of the track,
her newly-made bicycle circles encapsulate me;
I walk behind
in circles of my own.
Old patterns and lines intersect
every time I take a walk,
the slump-shouldered crane-necked figure that is me.
I appear in old and damaged clothes
to be old and damaged.
Someone spent a lot of money on the school,
an architectural wonder of sheet metal
reflecting the shapes of a far-off range.
The word “fuck”
is painted in red letters on the library window,
the shadow of the word
falls on spinners full of paperbacks.
The apartment kids have no ball/no bikes:
they mill around,
mindlessly kicking the turf
with the toes of their basketball shoes.
One looks back to home;
television light emerges from sliding doors
over unused verandas piled high with junk.
The police go there every day,
pull people apart
to stop the yelling.
Our sun is swiftly eaten by a pregnant cloud,
flashes again and drops behind a western peak
on its way deep into the mountains.
About Simon Thompson