Tuesday, March 8, 2011

St. John's Night Streets

After so many lifetimes
To walk your streets again at night
From downtown out to Logy Bay
Feels like coming home

St. John's, I would recognize
Your sussurus of balding tires
Over dirty slush and salt grit
From the murmurs of a thousand cities

The cold night embraces
Making me sweat in my coat
An hour of walking
Gets you anywhere you need to go

In younger times
I walked you twice a day
To and from youth's carnival
A different path just to see you each time

In younger times
Other walkers flashed out from the fog
Nodded or mouthed a warm hello
Then disappeared back into the night

Now your night streets lie empty
Cars quarantine people from you
Sidewalks closed by mayoral misers
Walkers reduced to my transient self

When a grand old city loses walkers of the night
When there is no one to see night's thousand winking eyes
Or be those padded footsteps that disturb sleeper's dreams
Night becomes an empty room in a museum
Or sits like a shining jewel
In a cave long forgotten

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