hour 20 shadow steps

we would play kick the can under yard lights

on summer nights when city kids would be filling cars

to drive to hill tops to find themselves

by city lights

in the eyes of partners too shy to say no


we’d hide in lilac bushes

just past blooming

but still fragrant somehow,

waiting til shadows passed

to run to the coffee can

under the light

so we wouldn’t have to be “it”


i’d hold my breath


before i ran

as if this was more about life and death

and less about killing time in places where

we only piled in truck beds to help neighbors hay,

leaving passions to the city kids

who had time for such things

cuz we were too busy

holding our breaths before running for home.

r. l. elke

7 thoughts on “hour 20 shadow steps

  1. I love the tension here. You can feel it throughout, and the specifics really make it grounding and real:

    “we’d hide in lilac bushes

    just past blooming

    but still fragrant somehow,”

    – I know exactly what you mean here.

  2. I love the story here, it really pulls you in. Like Caitlin said, the line about the fragrant lilac bushes – I get exactly what you mean and it pulled up such a strong image for me. Great job!

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