Watcher

That murky moment where the war
was like an ant hill going crazy.
The whole neighborhood in circles
talking nervously while no one
said the name.
They knew what he had done
out in that clearing in the woods
where no one wandered.
Where crocodiles sat motionless in
in the algae for hours until a crane
did something stupid making noise.
The sound of commerce in the afternoon
where everyone was leveraging their tokens.
The clerks all leaned against their counters
unconcerned with other things
like the receipt dates or the money
in the drawer. They all were lost
and wanting more than a life locked
in a crowded store, where everything
was their fault if it failed.
They nailed the season’s banners
to the light posts that kicked on
when it got dark out.
The switch that triggered them
was long ago given to an old woman
who the people put their trust in
like a mother.
She used to play guitar in crowded bars
until she got too old to stay up
past her bedtime.
Now she sits up on her roof all day,
drinking all her time away,
and watches for the surface
of the night.

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