And pausing at the corners,
Waiting for the traffic to pass,
He gave a good hard look down
The familiar streets. His bookstore,
Which had been part of the town
For two decades, was now closed.
The café where he’d done his writing,
Day after day, as a self-imposed
Discipline, was home to a new crowd
That he had little in common with.
For a while he had been proud
Of his work, but lately he had pittance
To show for it. Down another block,
Tucked into a building next to the hospital,
He saw the headquarters of the festival
Where he’d been one of the main organizers.
He had thought he was living in the best of all
Possible worlds, until he realized
That one of his colleagues, unashamedly
Ambitious, was being recognized
For ideas that he had brought to the table.
Catty-cornered was the highrise where
His son lived, with whom he had a stable,
Though somewhat distant, sporadic
Relationship. Further on, toward the water,
On the opposite side of the street,
In a basement apartment, his other child,
A daughter, wanted to be left alone.
Instead of aging gracefully, with a mind
At ease, at every turn he was held fast.