Russian City Center

Easterly wind pushes yesterdays
news past the corner of
main and 5th. A metal
pole stands empty, except
for the petite light blond girl
leaning at a slight angle, hair rustling.

It is December 7th. Low hanging sun
graces ice with orange light,
each shattered window.

The city center of the old town
lies 2 blocks north, marked with
a plaque celebrating its founding, surrounded
by frozen water waiting for ice skaters to return.

City street lights turning on. Washed
boulevard reflects each passing
headlights, and the droplets
landing on her shoe.

Tobacco tinged air drifts
across the boulevard,
the gentlemen’s club doors open until 4:00am.

An hour or two passes.
Time slows.
The wind slows.
Blond locks, strands of hair wave in the yellow light,
shadow thrown across paned glass windows.

She looks down one end of the street.
Then the other.
Silence as snow falls onto emptiness, cold, wet.
Each flake white, then clear, running toward the storm drain.

And begins the two mile walk to the harbor.
Under the muted sun.
Fog rolling in with the tide.
Distant growls, thunder.

The evening departure of the train heading
north out of the capital into the countryside
reverberates through the countryside just
opening on the outskirts of town.


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