May morning wind blows straight through
apartment alleys, sleeper’s streets.
Mud from the weekend dries
in the grass, on the sidewalks.
Feeding hop of a cardinal distracts
a rushing mother and baby.
Wind pushing at me,
the empty, ruined road opens
through the swivel of a broken gate.
Uncut hair curls over my collar.
I’ve let my beard go.
I heard a joke Sunday
I promised myself to remember.
Comic lines desert me in the daytime.
Beneath high, spreading smoke,
faint sirens strike an alarm to the north.
I check for cell phone alerts,
news of curfew’s end.
Bushnell binoculars around my neck,
I see a blue jay startle into flight
from a heavy-limbed oak.
In a dialect of consequence,
a helicopter hovers, then dives.
Under light cover,
we’ll have blue sky heat today.
I’ll move inside soon.
Following routine refinements of isolation,
bored prod of uncorked bottles,
I’ll lock the windows down.

R.T. Castleberry
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