Brake lights at rush hour
glaze asphalt cherry-red, tint exhaust clouds
to sunset billows.

Four-fifty-an-hour secretaries
jingle latch keys at doors, play tunes
on microwave ovens.

This is Overland Park, Kansas.
'Tis the season.
All Metcalf's bedecked
with wreath-framed candy canes.

While I, lost in shadow,
amid packing crates and one suitcase,
sit before a blank
PWP screen.

The poem has died.
The black screen says it all –
what's left of friendship
by betrayal.

But Mission, too, I hear,
ignites at rush hour.
Neighbors honk
pulling into their drives.
The U-Haul rests beside the curb.
And Christmas 1989 lies waiting
behind a newfound face,
a reassuring smile.

- Mark Scheel

Originally published in Potpourri
Used by permission of the poet

November 12, 1999 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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