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Poetry – Ledges and Lights

July 14, 2011

Ledges and Lights

*

What I see are lights.

A hundred of them. A thousand.

Ledges below them casting shadows.

Blackness around them and dying grey clouds

hesitant to be mistaken

for the smoggy night sky. And in each window

a dream, a hope, an ambition.

A child who dreams of nothing yet

but what his mother wants and

contentedness of doing this and

deserving his rest. His freedom.

Simple time alone or at least sleep.

A mother’s hope for her son

to live the life she always wanted

or at least give her the rest she never knew,

one day. One day she will be able to stop

and just love him and let him be,

but success never rests until hard work does

and she loves him too much to stop pushing.

A ledge sits outside his window.

There are no lights from his fathers room.

His lights are being quashed

by his seniors at a local restaurant.

As he looks up he can see the lights

in the apartments. A hundred of them.

A thousand. He raises his glass to a toast

until he is blind enough not to see them

or not to know at all.

Tomorrow he will write more nonsense.

Enough until his bosses are satisfied

that their own are satisfied

and they can all leave work together

content that they have just done enough

to be able to erase another day of nonsense

with raised glasses.

By the weekend the lights are out.

Invisible in the daytime.

In the park. Parents hands

on their boy’s shoulders.

They push. The bike moves. Progress

disguised as pleasure. He squeals.

His parents smile as he rides away.

A smile for the future of freedom

that they worked hard for

never to find. Tomorrow

they will keep pushing.

There is no other way they know

but to push or get pushed.

The lights go on at night.

A hundred of them. A thousand.

Each with a ledge and each

with a gentle hand

pushing.

*

AJG

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