Rhythmic stride and drumming feet
as dark descends on west-end street;
cicadas drone through August night,
humid air stays fullest flight.
Windows cranked to widest aperture,
invite a breeze to ease the temperature;
glistening brows and clammy skin
beg hint of breath, reprieve to win.
Floodlit bocce at Layton Park,
murmured conversation against the dark;
collared shirts and graying heads,
enjoyment ease in old world’s stead.
Public pool its waters calm,
in daylight hours a cooling balm;
echoes of laughter splashing zest,
diving kids now in bed to rest.
Darkened lane, air-conditioner’s thrum,
cloisters of coolness against nature’s hum;
whispering growling friendships of night
thwarted by windows now shut and sealed tight,
though living rooms blaze with blinds open wide,
and running voyeur gets a look inside;
not much to see that says much at all,
flickering screens keeping families in thrall.
Schools and churches dim and locked tight,
silent old beacons of learning and light,
old as the neighbourhood, much older still,
leading by fits and starts into goodwill.
Coronation to Somerled, turning to home,
by neighbour’s old Charger glinting with chrome;
legs tired, knees sore as I slow now to walk,
life’s always lived in the length of a block.