Day 285 – They Roll Them Up at Dusk

They Roll Them Up at Dusk

Day 285

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?

12 thoughts on “Day 285 – They Roll Them Up at Dusk

    • It sounds more eerie than it really is! It is just a really quiet town when the street lights come on. Fridays and Saturdays see more traffic at night and I am planning an evening to get down to the main drag to shoot the lights of the Strand theater with some traffic light trails.

    • What is sad about this scene is that each building on this side street is vacant now with the exception of a furniture store in the building on the far right corner. This photo makes me feel a bit melancholy.

  1. So melancholy, so perfectly empty, so wonderful. A marvel of an illustration for this poem, and for small-town decay–an anthem to what’s sad and yet beautiful about growing old by dissolution and fading to nothingness rather than with high drama.

    • That Moose 574 is where I met my husband for our second date – my parents were poo-bahs there and were having a karaoke contest for the club patrons and I had to go to support them – I won that night too!

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