Poems and Poetry

being left behind poems

Traffic | A Poem by Shirley Jones-Luke

For years cars wouldn’t drive
down our street, even in broad daylight,

pigeons and sparrows would hang
out on the telephone wires above our house,

a yellow and brown triple decker with
concrete steps and a mahogany-colored,

foyer, the door to the building
was never locked and would swing open

when the occasional truck drove
by carrying materials for new homes far

from our street, a different neighborhood
with tree-lined sidewalks, pristine parks

with inviting playgrounds, cool sprinklers
and welcoming benches to watch the world,

go by, cars would be near, parked and gleaming
in the sun, neighbors would gather to chat as their

children ran with abandon in the park, chasing
pigeons and each other until the street lights came

on and it was time to go home for dinner,
back to the two-car garages and the cars on

the street at the end of the day, glistening
now under the stars, silent sentries of the

homes and people who live in them, while
our street is empty, vacant and unguarded.