John W. McEwers

(6/20/1980 / Nova Scotia, Halifax)

A Lonesome Walk Down High Street


To score, you need two things:
money is one
the other isn't important

In the corner alley a few men gather
'round a trash can, its inside glowing
orange from a newspaper fire.

Ash drifts from ten-floor buildings
like confetti
like snowflakes
and try as I might,
I can't keep from catching them on my tongue.

There are lights, but only some
and they are enough to show a path
down the sidewalk to a friend's house,
someone I reluctantly call friend.

inside a Victorian home, replete with candelabras
on every surface, every herringbone wood floor
all burning to the base, wax pooled and dried
in uneven clumps.

I see my friend waiting for me
he knew I would return
He holds out one hand
and says: 'Money...'

I place the cash in his palm
and take what he gives me

and the walk back
is false sunshine

Submitted: Wednesday, April 14, 2010
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