Eight-block walk to elementary school;
During winters, on trails at top of snow banks;
During falls and springs, down alleys paved
With cinders, from City Heat coal slags.
Even today, walking down alleys brings back
Childhood memories as well as provides
Quiet respite from busy streets and avenues
Clogged with speedy cars, trucks, and buses.
In alleyways, opportunity see other side of life.
Like the back of our hair, some backyards are
Pristine as front yards; others, in stark contrast,
Unpainted garages propped up with cinder blocks.
Construction site stalks of rebar lined up like cattails;
Balconies with functional and frivolous decor;
Apartment windows blinded by variety of curtains;
Parking spaces defined by prohibitory signs.
Neighborhood alleys continue to entice and intrigue.
Welcome any incentive to walk out my door for exercise.
Morning alleys have different connotations than nighttime.
Maybe our paths will cross soon, but not after dark.
Ann Beth Blake
November 27, 2013