The Alleyway

I watch along dark paths
crouched
head cocked to his whistle
a tune haunting the spillways
and clover knots
seeping from his stretched throat
oh, birds ache in silence in his call
while all else shudders into shades and keens
the first clipped choking howls of mourning
echo past with his sliding trousers’ scuffs
and pontificating staff
his shadow never leaves this place though he continues humming then whistling
humming then whistling

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