March 30

Out this evening
in the soft dying light;
out to the cemetery again
with my cheeks stinging
from the rise of cool air.

Down a side street 
with little houses 
and sweet looking 
college-aged kids
playing street hockey 

and shouting against 
the coming dark.
With smiles they said:
‘hey, you wanna play?’ and
‘yeah, we’ve got lots of sticks.’

And the image
was clear to me:
playing and shouting 
until it was too dark,
then piling into

the warm, stuffy glow
of a strange house
with its unfamiliar smells
and a ragged sofa
and talking, just talking,

because you didn’t want
the day to end—
But I told them ‘no’ 
like a reflex
and kept walking,

cursing myself,
as the dark swallowed
the last of the day
and the night
became truly cold.

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