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Foxtails

By a lamp-post corner of cobblestone streets,
December trick-or-treats,
And unsung heroes of unfought wars
In classic slapstick shows,
Run icy streams of melted winter-rooftop snows;

Past tea parties and Disneyland parades,
Moonlight serenades,
Teenage lawyers,
Bobby socks,
And dancing bears on San Francisco sidewalks;

To Elysian Fields
Colored mint green
Whose annual yields
Play ducks and drakes
With bulls and bears
While drawing stares
From passersby whose hearts and minds
Are left behind
Until they come to the end of the line.

Long, dark shadows
Fall like Autumn leaves,
Settle beneath the eaves,
And stay till Spring.

But the muted lamplight in the street
And the sounds of running feet,
Icicles shattering,
Dinner plates clattering,
And stray cats tipping garbage cans
Up and down the alleyways of Life
(To be cleaned up by my Wife,
If she’s still here tomorrow)
Are like the Eagles on the Jukebox
At the White Hart Pub
Or a steaming tub
On a Rugby Sunday afternoon.

April raindrops fall and echo
Pierce the night and splinter the dark;
Sparrows return to the park,
And the Sun returns from the South.

I’ll lie on my back and count the clouds,
Sipping cool spring air,
With a foxtail straw in my mouth.

Published in this month’s The Wagon Magazine.

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