Old Jack Russell
The Sun amused
by the tiny moon
– with crescent smile –
I took a walk in the rain today. Got to wear my new rain jacket.
On Madison, a teal shirt hangs half in half out of the After Hour Depository.
A man with a stubbled chin sheltering under an Absolut Vodka umbrella checks the meters for overlooked change. I stop for coffee at Baby’s On Fire. A portly guy in shorts, tattooed arms, shoulders, thighs, head clasped in white ear phones, stares at his laptop, on his lap, a ball of white yarn and the lacey white piece he’s crocheting. A sturdy young woman wearing a Washington Wizards hat and an Under Armour grey hoody slouches in, sceptically searches the bins of old vinyl – bursts into a smile. She didn’t expect to find that.
On my way back, at Monument and Cathedral, lush blossoms hang from the lamp posts in the park. Toadstools grow in the tree wells.
The stately old townhouse long renovating, flourishes a banner – Now Leasing.
I shake the rain off my umbrella – I’m home.
Parallel fences along the property line – a narrow no-man’s land between.
The older fence, a weathered gray with pointed knob atop each post. The upright slats are cut, just so, to suggest a falling rising wave. The other one, a squared straight frame, too tall for neighborly nods or chats.
I wondered if there’d been a feud – some frostiness between the neighbors?
What do I listen to? It all depends in summer, with the windows open, I listen to the street
The harrumph of garage trucks beep-beeping delivery trucks 4-wheeled rap blasting air brakes of the Pink line bus – murmur of background traffic – Ambulances shrieking East to Mercy, North to Hopkins Whup-whup-whup of PD ‘copters Gabbers, laughers, argumenters, sometimes a dog, sometimes a child, a fiddler once.
Hushed interludes of mid-day heat
In the evening, bottles clinking, outdoor-sitters at the MarketPlace, the ting-ding-ding of the Light Rail train, a radio.
In the silence after-hours, I hear the refrigerator hum.
Baltimore is a divided city – black and white and in between. Some see the other as enemy. But that’s not so. For example, today I took my white-haired, white lady self and my small red cart down the street to the Asian market on a block best described as iffy. I’m moving slowly recovering from an injury. As I’m about to leave the store, an African-American man passing on the street, pauses and kindly holds the door for me. Thank you. The AA men lounging on the sidewalk move aside offering words of encouragement – take it easy, take it easy.
There is kindness everywhere.