Moving On

Time runs slowly down
the west flank of the Continental Divide,
thumbs a ride to Duncan,
Arizona, and goes
into the restaurant on a Sunday
afternoon, to be
the only customer.
It wanders out
to the park where leaves
are falling around the silent bandstand,
ticks along the only street,
stopping to address
the old cars back of houses
being claimed by the ground on which
they stand.
It stops to greet the man
standing in the doorway
under a No Vacancy sign at
the Duncan Hotel, but his eyes are lost
among leaves changing color
across the way, so it’s back
to the dining room
for a dessert
of the Country Western music
that plays all day
through the kitchen radio,
but every song sounds
like every other one.
It wants more
George Jones and Ernest Tubb:
some cheating and redemption,
but Nashville’s in control
and sunset is a threadbare flag
across the cowboy sky.

David Chorlton was born in Austria, grew up in Manchester, England, and lived in Vienna before moving to Phoenix in 1978. The Bitter Oleander Press published Shatter the Bell in my Ear, translations of poems by Austrian poet Christine Lavant. Reading T. S. Eliot to a Bird, is from Hoot ‘n Waddle, in Phoenix. Read other articles by David.