Friday, December 30, 2016

August At Four A.M.

Post by AquarianM on Aug 15, 2004 at 5:51am

August At Four A.M.

Standing over the wall four stories up,
The gentle scent of cigar smoke slows me now,
Hot perked coffee sips on my tongue,
Looking down from the parking ramp where I stand,
Each pool of street light on the world below is a little universe,
I wonder if the man pacing by the bus stop knows he's famous,
Carrying his umbrella and wearing a back pack,
Staring down the street waiting for the one that will take him,
I watch the red LED signs at the EL stop scroll,
Illuminating no one in particular,
Occasionally someone strolls down the street,
What strikes me is none of them hurry at all,
Just an easy gentle walk every one of them takes,
The low lights of empty restaurants and offices,
Apartment windows like a million dark shining mirrors,
Delivery trucks stop by the newspaper machines,
Herald or Tribune or a fresh baked batch of help wanted ads,
Cars and cabs driving easy without any edge or push,
Trees sway over sidewalks ever so slightly,
As I watch another ghost flow up up up off my cigar in the quiet,
Thinking in poetry and believing that this is the real world,
I see the clock glowing down the street on the side of a building,
Looking like the only warm frozen object under heaven,
I reach decision time with reluctance,
As the bus rolls past with people sleeping,
Will it be one more puff or two,
Before I lay something gently glowing,
In the ash tray atop the garbage can,
Thankful I'm a creature of the night,
Free of the harsh world of five minute cigarettes,
High voltage coffee shop hustles and watching a watch,
I slide into the sunset truck,
Turn up NPR's gentle Jazz hour,
Listening to the thrum of an acoustic bass expertly strummed,
Thumping easy like the ocean a saxophone floats over,
Passing the river on the draw bridge,
I see the sheen of lights rippling off it like city stars,
Out onto the barely full interstate,
As NPR slides into gently romantic latino hour musica,
And the cruise home is soft and cool with the window cracked,
Ten miles an hour less and home twenty minutes faster,
Pulling into the drive with a soft blue glow in the East,
Venus brilliant high above the approaching dawn,
I close the door and ease out the poetry of the night,
A place where you can now go without fear,
Without urgency or drama or tears,
Kiss my barely awake wife in a space of comfortable love,
And leave the day to those in high gear,
As the pillow key eases my engine off.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 08/15/2004

Author's Comments:
There are some good things about working nights.