Waiting to Cross Florence Avenue

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By Frank Kearns

The walk light at the end of the street
seems to take forever to come on.
Cars come down Florence quick and constant,
flowing as an un-swimmable stream
of blurry colors and blinding chrome.

A man on a rusty bicycle
sets his feet on the concrete walk
as plastic bags full of empty cans
sway back and forth on the handle bars.

On the far side a woman in running shoes
leans against the stop light pole,
presses the metal button once,
and pushes back in a long slow stretch.

We have come to a stop at anywhere,
like townspeople frozen on a page
of a yellowed hardbound picture book,
waiting for the drawbridge to set down,

sharing in casual nod and glance
this momentary intersection;
like travelers bound together
by a pause on an ancient river bank,
the ferry still at the opposite shore,

the river moving fast in deep mid stream.

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