Strange things happen when the light
Begins to fade and illuminate the clouds
In such a way that they begin to glow,
Astounding colors sewing a patchwork
Behind their billowing folds.
Everyone is on the street because
There is only one street to be had
And everyone must share it:
The children with their volleyballs,
The women with plastic strollers abound,
And of course the men of the bottle.
They are easy to spot: Usually much darker,
Charred by countless hours spent in the sun,
Swaying about as if the earth
Were shuddering underfoot,
One eye lazier than the other and a grip
That could match that of a titan.
Some will stop and say hello, like
The basketball coach who keeps the bees
And gives some coin to able hands,
Or perhaps relatives speeding by
On motorcycles on their way back home
With nothing to give as they spent
Their last savings on eggs and gasoline.
If it is too cold, they vanish with the wind,
But where they go is a mystery to most:
Some say they have home to return to,
But those who do not find passageways
That burrow underground and hide
Like marmots on the steppe.
They fade away with the summer sun,
And in the darkness they will stay
For the lamps along the lane glow not
To illuminate the way for travelers
Who do not pass through the town anyway,
But should they ever change their mind,
The thought would surely be appreciated.
Author’s note: When it is pitch black and you’re walking home, your path only guided by the stars, your senses sharpen, and stories begin to form in your mind.