Stopping to Leave

Dire drift, the afternoon lurks—
flood forecast, prayers rising
from upraised hands, open text.
Rain passes over,
seedlings, oak and elm stirred
by South Coast wind.
Cell phone walkers stretch a crosswalk light.
Food trucks pack for dinner destination.
Pocket park slowly closes—
cigarettes smoked, office lunches done.
Coming off the bridge,
an Audi slips left lane to right,
driver dreaming at the wheel.
Yellow vest workmen scuff
to Ram and Silverado,
helmets and coolers thumping at hips.
Parking lots empty to open arid space,
to painted white lines and chain link.
Captured bags flutter like half-mast flags.
Metal doors and lights lowered,
we are locking down to leave.

R.T. Castleberry's work has appeared in Dissident Voice, Blue Collar Review, K’in, Pedestal Magazine, Misfit, Trajectory, The Alembic and Switchback. Internationally, it has been published in Canada, Great Britain, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, New Zealand, Portugal. the Philippines and Antarctica. I’ve had poetry in the anthologies: Travois-An Anthology of Texas Poetry, TimeSlice, The Weight of Addition, Anthem: A Tribute to Leonard Cohen, You Can Hear the Ocean: An Anthology of Classic and Current Poetry and Level Land: Poetry For and About the I35 Corridor. Read other articles by R.T..