Autumn streets

It’s the fag end of autumn,

sunset glinting,

the spent tip of a cigarette

held between languorous fingers.

Shadows gather on pavements

like ash,

dusty clusters tapped

onto uncaring tarmac.

Passing cars rake pedestrians

with the searching beams

of half-dipped headlights.

Businesses close their doors

against the creeping chill

of the early evening.

And birds chatter one to another

flying back to secluded roosts

in trees that lie on the landscape

like smudged monochrome,

lines of coal dust

on skeleton boughs.

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