Suburb Night Life – A Poem by Rowe Williams

Night has settled like damp fog 
on a quiet, wooded neighborhood,

sleeping under this somehow cozy blanket. 
In this dream-night, lit by 

celestial moon and stars, four teenagers 
perturb the quiet, all faint chatter 

and laughter, too alive for this night. 
They come upon an intersection, 

where a side road meets the already 
minor main street in asphalt embrace. 

Called like migrant salmon to this tributary,
three of the adolescents lay supine 

on the still-warm street, speaking idly 
and drinking the nectar of that 

night sky framed by ponderosa pine 
with bright, wakeful eyes. 

The fourth stands in self-imposed guard duty, 
convinced of the danger of this quiet road. 

The unlikely appearance of a turning car 
comes in headlit chiaroscuro, with all the stealth 

of a lighthouse. 
The guard looks at his frivolous charges, 

head tilted at the angle of "I told you so," 
expecting them to join in his vindication. 

The three stand unconcernedly, making way
for the benign vehicle, giggling 

about something they know 
that the watchman missed.

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