SALIDA (STAY/EXIT)

By Carl Atiya Swanson

The lilacs are already in bloom here
so I couldn't hear then opening.

      But the chatter of children expands –
      soft foot falls, flip flops flapping.

A bird chirp and a chitter, maybe
a dry leaf on the asphalt.

      The wind luxuriating in the leaves,
      in the branches, in my hair.

Somewhere a river, somewhere
a drill, a saw, a hammer.

      Bike spokes
      a buzz
      a bell
      a command.

Cars behind me,
silence ahead.