The Parable of Sunlight


It's a rare sunny day,

but the streets are strangely quiet,


as if arrests have been made,

or are about to be.


Head down, heart bending,

I start across the square.


The fountain is dry, stained in dead leaves.

An old man, with the drab, diligent face


of a lifelong student of numbers,

scatters bread crumbs for the pigeons.


I pretend not to notice him—it's safer—and in seconds, reach the far side,


where bodies in the early stages of decay hang like gray rags from the trees.


I glance back at the old man.

He's watching me, and I wonder why


and whether tomorrow

is supposed to be just as nice as today.

Copyright © 1999-2017 Juked