U.S.A. (from Three Night Poems) by George Garret
Say, they roll up the sidewalks all over town
by 11:30 p.m. Lord, by midnight there’s nothing
moving, doing. Lone streetlights glare,
one-eyed, but do not dare to dance.
Here and there late lamps burn pale
fire to keep back the beasts of the night.
Somebody’s sick, you think (like Huck),
or, less innocent, project the lewd
fantastic, the cheap old beams
and images from broken movies
into frail naked rooms. Alas
for the cop on the corner who offers
a glass-eyed stare, and for the last car
weaving the pavement like a lonesome drunk.
Dancer, giants, heroes and dreamers,
where are you now? It’s a fact–
when a heart breaks it doesn’t make a sound.
10:30 p.m. and not a soul on the streets except for me with my camera. 30 second exposure and not a single car to leave light trails in the frame. Just the wind blowing, howling overhead, the sound of a trash can clattering on an adjacent street and dried up leaves chasing each other down the darkened sidewalk.
Is it any wonder that I love this small town so?