The end, or beginning
of the strip mall starts
at the Subway Subs
a set aside frontage overlooked
by bushes and idling traffic.
Further along, the ephemeral
Pop-up Party Shop;
when not ‘up’
that commercial space
a print for printing slogans.
Abutting is the computer game center,
pale youths enter
not to be seen again until cell phones
broadcast amber alerts.
Lastly, the hardware store,
a well-thumbed cluttered cave,
struggling to re-invent its old brands.
it all ends
at curbs and untrod paving.
The mall hangs on to the small change
of a larger, more changing world.
On an adjacent blacktop
drivers stay in lane
until the junction and the traffic lights
lead them somewhere else
less out of time.
Dusk comes to smear the parking lot
with its cowls and drapes,
the wingspans of an evening haze
sweep-in nocturnal tones,
chimerical forms reshape storefronts,
leave obscure echoing sinkholes.
The strip mall nightly sinks
into its less concrete reality,
a haunt woven
from the discarded wrappers and scraps;
that spill over its one solitary trash bin.
It will be days before it is emptied
or filled again - maybe weeks.
Copyright © Eric Ashford | Year Posted 2021
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