Shadows lie indifferent to laden, musty air,
and filmy blue moon.
Of more interest are the lost,
young man here, young girl there,
a self-induced fearful monologue.
Cold wind comes in for the kill,
shudders the thin limbs, emaciated faces.
A passing car tempts but a window rolls down
like jaws opening.
They've learned enough to back away from all beasts.
Miniature souls groan, modest dreams evaporate.
One is almost startled into blurting out, "Yes. I'll go with you.
They float from door to door, tenement or shuttered store.
Home is a phone call away but even with the cold,
the dark, the loneliness, the constant threat -
where they’re from is still not good enough.
John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in New Plains Review, Big Muddy and Spindrift with work upcoming in South Carolina Review, Gargoyle, Sanskrit and Louisiana Literature.