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I'll get a big picture of this asap.Five and Dime Cafe

Crisp autumn light explores old Herndon,
quietly, but does not escape notice--
trees, especially, lean to catch
all they can, spreading their limbs,
laden with light as with snow,
catching more here! there! on all sides--

quick! (like one who tries to balance
too many shopping bags). A golden building
leans forward in the light, while
in the background basks the Five & Dime Cafe,
and at the curb, airborne light floats down
to investigate squat dozing cars,
curious that they are rumored to be
capable of motion, probably another
trick of light.

At bottom a bit of blue sky
leaks down the greater sky of slatey
street, where white and yellow lines
that only pretend to be light try
to lead the eye slantwise off
to our left, where, they promise,
the action is, cars that move by themselves
and people too. But the eye eludes lines,

lingers above the street to see
what marbled treasure troves the light
reveals in deep-browed window bays,
while up and down the street platoons
of light engage the shadows, a quick
invasion with no fatalities, each glisten
perpetuating the shades it absorbs.

Tonight the light will disembark, freeing
all prisoners, and dark will return
from its lairs, deep in shop windows,
creep out and retake this glowing street,
covering up even this stain
where light cannot quite engulf
this tree and it's shadow too, and all
the sundry shadow shapes of signs, trashcans
and other corner bric-a-brac whose shadows
take shelter in the tree's.

But night is hours, days, years from now.
The eye lingers in a lasting instant of light.

Dean Blehert


Last Updated: December 13, 2004

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