Margaret Hitch

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Street Scene

Some things manage to touch me,
pluck my heart strings and then are off -
The smell in the breeze today
came drifting in from childhood
Yes! I’ve felt it before,
that chemical mixture -
one in a million but there it is.
There I am, back on the streets
of a small town in Alaska.
There you are, on the streets of a big city in fall.

I want to see with your eyes,
looking up past the skyscrapers
on a cold blue morning.
I want to watch you wander
and stumble under the expressway.
I want to lay my hand on your back
when you rest in the park.

Somebody spends another day
in the same town, presses play
on the Walkman and takes the alley to work.
The sun is out for the first time this week -
a pile of wires starts fading on the sidewalk.

I could hold a flower in my hands, press it to my cheek.
I could lie down on the street and sleep
until someone asks if I am alive.
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