Advice from those who keep their noses clean:
“Stay well between the ditches.”
I remember the words, and have sheep-like internalized them –
While I walk on the street’s elevated hump,
Mars, Saturn, the moon and Venus bright in a clear sky.
Always the middle.
Loaded pistols near beds.
Short-chained barking and leaping dogs.
Yellow security lights and eye-open cameras.
Car alarms, ready to scream, blinking red dashboard lights warning.
The owners and renters,
So wise, so secure, so afraid, so edgy, so protective.
I briefly want to step to the sides,
Walk on sidewalks by lawns.
Throw peace over fences, onto lawns, into houses.
No, fear’s umbrella is wide open.
I walk into dawn,
Straight down the middle of the street.
Eugene “Gene” Novogrodsky, late April 2014