To Settle the Night

To Settle the Night

Sky streaks lavender and orange to lowering blue.
Night chill rises, flicking at pants legs, leaf piles,
dampens sidewalk to footstep skate.
Beyond the greasy click of a security gate,
last birds circle to settle on a sleeping roost,
scavengers slink the hedge lines,
eroded wastes of tree root, fence rot.
Phone-nervous, the late-working husband,
lover late with wine and Chinese
hustles towards an unsettled greeting.
Cracked blinds, open curtains reveal
big screen play of cable news or cooking show,
month’s end packing boxes on parquet floor.
Knife in a coat pocket, edgy every day,
I make the walk from
car to mailbox and home,
wired slap of mail and magazines
against my leg.
There’s no curse to the night.
Only an easeful settling,
only the rendered verdict for the day.


R.T. Castleberry‘s work has appeared in Roanoke Review, Santa Fe Literary Review, Pedestal Magazine, Green Mountains Review, The Alembic and Visitant. Internationally, it has been published in Canada, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, New Zealand and Antarctica. His poetry appears in the anthologies: Travois-An Anthology of Texas Poetry, TimeSlice, The Weight of Addition, Anthem: A Tribute to Leonard Cohen, Kind Of A Hurricane: Without Words and Blue Milk’s anthology, Dawn. His chapbook, Arriving At The Riverside, was published by Finishing Line Press in January, 2010. An e-book, Dialogue and Appetite, was published by Right Hand Pointing in May, 2011.

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