Fiction   Essays   Poetry  The Ten On Baseball Chapbooks In Memory

Bill Trudo

Northern Night

The night is a field unbounded
by the neat rows of houses and three-flats.

Adventure winds without the need for trains
wheeling to another city, that palm tree sunshine.

A bus pushes through the piercing rain.
Potholes loom full with water-sparkle streetlights.

Music plays rowdy dollar-beer tunes,
the chorus shaking bottles spewing spray
     to baptize
gritty head-forward whistles.

This is a fucked-up town the New York band
sneers on every stage, meaning every town,
     even here --
a single drop trails down the windshields.

No one this late believes the clean
make a living filling ledgers
or pumping gas. So much to slam
against the steps against cement.

Puddles never find the doorway hollows
     which shelter
until the first morning route.

And a thousand questions

She said "I'm going to the store."
He heard "going" as in gone --

Did she say this,
or did he?

He turned on the television,
a good game between college powers.
Which teams? He didn't care,
never attended either school.
No, he watched the basketball swing.
snap to the cutter in the lane --

She was in the car,
keys in the ignition,
not turned.
She would have cried,
but stared at the white garage door instead.
Like countless shopping trips before,
she started the engine.

©2003 by Bill Trudo

Bill Trudo lives in Chicago, Illinois. His work has appeared in print in Signal, and in several online publications, including The Poet's Canvas, Melic Review, The Adirondack Review, Prairie Poetry, and Poems Niederngasse.

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