To Settle the Night

Sky streaks lavender and orange to lowering blue.
Night chill rises, flicking at pants legs, leaf piles,
dampens sidewalk to footstep skate.
Beyond the greasy click of a security gate,
last birds circle to settle on a sleeping roost,
scavengers slink the hedge lines,
eroded wastes of tree root, fence rot.
Phone-nervous, the late-working husband,
lover late with wine and Chinese
hustles towards an unsettled greeting.
Cracked blinds, open curtains reveal
big screen play of cable news or cooking show,
month’s end packing boxes on parquet floor.
Knife in a coat pocket, edgy every day,
I make the walk from
car to mailbox and home,
busy slap of mail and magazines
against my leg.
There’s no curse to the night.
Only an easeful settling,
only the rendered verdict for the day.

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..