City Camp Alley

You strolled down to the elbow
thinking the street would go farther—
but the man who owned the sand 
and gravel place had built a house
blocking all exit from there.

Magnolias showered your head
with their heavy musk as you passed.
The bombast of radio announcers
came through the windows, sometimes
loud enough to mask domestic
quarrels within.

In the last house down the way,
the town's first policewoman
swilled down her sorrows 
with beer. Blind men walked
home in pairs, carefully 
tapping with their canes.

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