By Stephen MacDonald Howard

I lived at the top of a cul-de-sac.
Odd contradiction:
top of a hill—
bottom of a bag.
I had taken to television,
sports mainly.
It filled the time neatly.
Me in my big chair,
eating popcorn cooked in virgin olive oil
with too much salt.

Then, I walk into the night —
chilly desert winter early darkness.
The cat follows me down.
She’s careful. She was orphaned by coyotes.
She won’t go far.

I continue to the bottom of the hill,
cross the boulevard to the park
and sit anonymously in the empty

The softball players hammer out
A listless contest in the mist.
Women with big shoulders,
men with bellies;
they swing and jog and bellow
I don’t know them.

Before they finish, I return
up the hill.
I hear her sound in the dark.
She runs to me. We walk home
together, me and my cat —

She sleeps at the bottom of the bed
between my feet.
Someone I don’t know anymore told me
it’s because she likes my body warmth.
I know it’s more than that.

1 comment

  1. Stephen MacDonald Howard is a poet! “Cul-de-Sac” captures an ordinary evening with truth-ringing images and thought. You see his reflective mind compare the irony of “Living at the top of a hill” on a Cul-de-Sac (which he says is “the bottom of a sack”) You feel the loneliness of his former life, the lack of connection, the love for his cat who loves him back, and not just for his body warmth. His poetry not only flows well in modern cadence, but is highly visual. You can see the images, the softball players, you hear them hitting the ball, sensual, thoughtful, well done. I hope Steve posts “50-Yard Freestyle,” another poem which is impressive.

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