By: Bruno Rescigna
A Midnight Walk Around My Neighborhood
The peace and safety of daylight
give way to the suspicions of darkness.
Sounds imperceptible in daylight
grow ominous in the night’s quiet.
A leaf scraping across a sidewalk
could be a footstep.
Parked cars become accomplices
that can hide crouched thieves.
And trees that offer shade,
may shade felons waiting for
The neighborhood is safe, kind.
Trim lawns, old trees and a respectful
silence, remind me that the people
around here are responsible, trustworthy.
But I’m walking at midnight,
and those people are asleep.
The race track- early morning
The sun is barely awake.
stare straight ahead.
The only people here work
at the track or live
off the races, tip sheet writers,
serious bettors, wise guys,
anyone looking for a
an edge, a kernel
of something that makes them
smarter by a nose or a length.
I watch the thoroughbreds
work out. A few horses disappear
into a patchy fog along
the back stretch then burst
into the sunlight before
they slow themselves to a trot .
Turning, I see a chestnut filly enter the track.
you almost expect music
as she stands waiting.
Her rider begins her exercise regimen,
continually increasing her speed
through various distances.
She glides effortlessly, a brown spear
propelled by some internal explosion.
Speed and athleticism give
her graceful movements
power and arrogance.
Horse and rider
move like well- rehearsed dance partners,
swallowing distance with each long stride,
grabbing ground, kicking
up a wake of dirt.
The horse accelerates hugging
the rail as it approaches the far turn.
The rhythmic drumbeat of her
slower runners to give her room.
Alert to the subtle movements
of the small man
she carries on her back,
a pair of celebrities in an oval
world, unsuited for anything
Along the edge of the track
furthest from the racers and
going in the opposite direction,
a stable hand rides a yellow pony.
Moving slowly as if reluctant to return to the
stables and their confining life of work, both
pony and rider watch the brown missile
running intensely as if from death.
They continue their leisurely stroll,
back to work, covered
in the shadow of the grandstand,
while the jockey and his mount
Dinner with a Young Lawyer
Years gather like kindling.
Sparked by fears and regrets,
they burst into the flames that destroy dreams.
I envy young people’s sense of belonging,
of blending into the fabric of their world.
They move with a confidence of those who
see opportunities everywhere and
believe time never runs out.
The young feel like they hold all the cards.
They get the jokes
and understand the nuances
of their world, like one
raised in the woods where he now hunts.
But life has a way of re-dealing the cards much too soon.
As you age, opportunities that you once ignored
now speak a different language.
Rivers change course gradually and
those blinded by the arrogance of assumption
that they have life figured out
fail to recognize the shift
until the waters carry other boats past them.
Rejected opportunities turn into
Many of us spend our later years
in judgment of our miscalculations,
hesitations, and poorly timed bluffs.
The large life anticipated never appears.
Instead, we find ourselves in middle age marching
somewhere in the middle of the parade.
Not the worst spot,
but too far back to influence the direction of anything.
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