Ronald Koertge

(1940 / Illinois / United States)

The Streetsweeper


goes by at 1:00 a.m. two nights of the week. I can
hear the feather whoosh of his machine and see
one red light.

I believe that the streetsweeper lives alone,
sleeping
through the cold days, waking clear-eyed and deft
as the sun goes down.

I believe that he works steadily without a portable
radio or a reading light or a nap. When he pauses
it is to stare placidly into
the potent night.

For reasons too numerous to mention, I think
about the
streetsweeper often and about the singular,
provident
cadence of his life.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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