At the curb young mothers laughing, groping
for their children’s hands, bus headlights
in the after-rain a swashed distortion
as it bumbles over bumps. Children first
then mothers climb aboard; one squeals
as the bus lurches, stops, then honking
toads into the traffic flow. An old man
hunched beside a rusting dumpster lifts
one hand and with the other counts
his fingers, folds them then counts again.
A taxi honks, dogs race across the street,
the owner of the beer and soda store leans
against an iron grate, cell phone pegged
against one ear. Wars somewhere? Narcotics
busts? Neither sparrows in the junipers
nor old woman in a wheelchair knows.
Just night will come, moon hazed by clouds,
the scent of new cut hay.