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, a Pushcart Prize nominee, has work in Steam Ticket, Vita Brevis, As It Ought To Be, Trajectory, Silk Road, StepAway, and Dissident Voice. Internationally, he's had poetry published in Canada, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, France, New Zealand, Portugal, the Philippines and Antarctica. His poetry has appeared in the anthologies: Travois-An Anthology of Texas Poetry, TimeSlice, Anthem: A Tribute to Leonard Cohen, and Level Land: Poetry For and About the I35 Corridor. He lives and writes in Houston, Texas. Read other articles by R.T..