the corner of Church Street

the pike
cuts these ramshackle towns
into halves
but both halves look the same
hue, and color, quite similar
tho one a bit closer
to the shops
and the highway
and the other half closer
to the nested lakes of Blackwood
where crooked, rusty-nail docks
dangle over the dark shimmer
Estelle sits on the wood-porch rocker
most summer days
talking on the phone
with one leg folded under
I can hear her smoky voice crackling
all the way from the corner
of Church Street
where Albert scrapes and shuffles
Stabbing at the blowing trash
with a pointed stick
wheeling around a plastic can
his hair, gray and wiry
twisting in the steamy bluster
where we all wait
at the traffic light
that’s always
just turned
red
staring, staring–
at the church cemetery’s tilting stones
watching the granite shadows
creep ‘crost the mottled, hallowed lawn
chilling the afternoon’s amber
as nearing the corner
but most of us– escaping
as the light turns green, briefly
tho I can still hear them
and some days, Estelle is laughing
and some days, she’s shouting
and Albert scrapes and shuffles
with his pointed stick
stabbing at the ground
and he never says a word

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