A Different Sky

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Contributor: Sy Roth

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children whiz by on their bicycles
pointing at the curious old house
they giggle at its oddities
leaning askew,
gutters laughing in the front and the sides,
pitted driveway,
Belgian blocks forming a Les Mis’ barricade,
old Hyundai resting on blocks.
they expect a whitened ghost of a man
to stand in front meancingly
embracing his body to ward off the cold wind
shouting boo at them.

they had spent their times on the outside, under
a makeshift rusted metal porch
to smoke pot,
read and pet Soot, the oversized gray cat
who perches on a cushion purchased at an estate sale.
she exhales her entreaties.
he had allowed the old house to grow older
each passing week
a little less straight,
until it straddles the plot like a mass of limp spaghetti.

the sky fills with shapeless clouds,
ogees on a darkening gray slate
writing ancient script of an odyssey.
wind kicks grimly at the leaves on the ground
swirling them and making them dance.
he stares at the twisting eddy of leaves.
his wife warns him every morning;
fears saying the wrong thing,
he mumbles unrealistic uh huhs,
a lie that she sees etched in his downcast eyes.
he repeats, uh huh, to the empty air
pitifully unsure about tomorrows.

he turns away and stares off into space,
transported from his home,
to another somewhen somewhere
no longer troubled by any need to bring order
to his chaos-filled world
that had become an unreachable dream.

- - -
He comes riding in and then canters out. Oftentimes, the head is bowed by reality; other times, he is proud to have said something noteworthy. cRetired after forty-two years as teacher/school administrator, he now resides in Mount Sinai, far from Moses and the tablets. This has led him to find words for solace. He spends his time writing and playing his guitar. He has published in Visceral Uterus, Amulet, BlogNostics, Every Day Poets, Barefoot Review, Haggard and Halloo, Misfits Miscellany, Larks Fiction Magazine, Danse Macabre, Bitchin’ Kitsch, Bong is Bard, Humber Pie, Poetry Super Highway, Penwood Review, Masque Publications, Foliate Oak, Miller’s Pond Poetry, The Artistic Muse, Word Riot, Samizdat Literary Journal, Right Hand Pointing, The Screech Owl, Epiphany, Red Poppy Review, Big River, Poehemians, Nostrovia Poetry’s Milk and Honey, Siren, Palimpsest, Dead Snakes, Euphemism, Humanimalz Literary Journal, Ascent Aspirations, Fowl Feathered Review, Vayavya, Wilderness House Journal, Aberration Labyrinth, Mindless(Muse), Em Dash and Kerouac’s Dog.


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