Returning Late

When evening has fallen

     hard and weighted

     across this small town

And Main Street silent

     except for a few trucks

     along the state highway

When the air grows damp

     and wraps its whispy fingers

     around my cold bare skin

I stand in the middle of the road

     ponder the day and night alike

     and watch— 


the old yellow farmhouse, 

window panes with chipping paint

and birds nest in the space

     just above the front porch

(rocking chairs sway in the night breeze) 


the ancient black oak, 

a giant towering slightly to the right

and threatening mother

     with the same regular nightmares

(branches stiff and stubbornly unmoved) 


the great wide open sky,

filled with brightest watching stars

keeping their glowing vigil

     constant across this small place

(down on my home)