Hour Twenty four The city sleeps

24
The City Sleeps
by Paul Robert Sanford

Traffic on Brush Street has slowed
from 2000 an hour at rush hour
to a speeding car every few minutes.
A bus goes past on its way to the Greyhound Station

The pointed evergreens are a black shadow against a charcoal sky.
In the federal building’s twin towers a few floors are lit,
probably some cleaning crews,
although it could be the government at work.
It’s 8 am in Washington DC.
My busy intersection has three tall streetlights
that serve as my nightlight.]
In their glare a lone pedestrian crosses the street,
crossing into shadow and out of sight.
The bars are closed.
Hours ago a flock of happy young people walked
along the deserted streets on their way home from the club.
My neighbors have their porch lights on
while the rest of the house sleeps.
Parked cars wait patiently at both curbs,
hoping not to get run into by some drunk
confused by the lane change.
In the distance the red lights atop the loading cranes
at the waterfrdont blink and dance.
Itd is a good time to have a warm bed to retreat into.
A lonely time to be out in the sleeping city.

4 thoughts on “Hour Twenty four The city sleeps

  1. This is luminously beautiful, Paul. I’ve stood on the edge of many late-night cities in the US and you capture these quiet, slow moments perfectly. There is such a strong sense of you rooted here in your view of the night – and everything moving slowly around you. Loneliness, observed; but beautifully so. And there is the incoming relief of a warm bed to retreat to!

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