The neighbor’s kid is out front again, a brooding
teen hitting homemade ramps with his skateboard.
He’s got half the school over, misfits
in baggy clothes, faces cratered as the moon.
For every whump! of wood, there is a second of silence
that can only mean air, the antiphon
of striking wheels.
                            A breeze carries the sound
of them through the screen, where our cats often sit
to watch birds launch from the paper birch into the sky.
The boys are silhouettes under
the streetlight, only half-
real, like waking dreams. I get up to close
the window and slide back into bed,
intending to read for the last hour
of the weekend. No good; their laughter
drifts back from the kitchen window,
careless and easy.
                            I give them this moment.
What else can I do? Already it’s the end
of July. Soon, August will come to pick up
her flowers; by the time snow appears,
he’ll be steeped in routine. I’ll see him one morning
under the streetlight, hunched
against the wind, aged into the man
he’ll become.
Suburban Pastoral by Steve Mueske

Photo used under Public Domain.