Seven Traffic Lights now up at Terror House Magazine

Off-Hours

After the late shift
the cops will drop by.
Shots and a beer.
Nightsticks on the bar.

In a back booth
I dream my mother laughing
and there she is – laughing.
Her smudged mouth wide,
always longing.

“We gotta go now
little guy,” her breath
wet and pine tree
sweet, her boiled eyes
looking hard to see.

The jukebox is dark.
A tired jumble of moths
circle the bald bar light.
Even the cops are gone.

These streets belong to us now.
The radio knows this hour well.
My mother is singing to the wheel.
I’m in the backseat
pretending sleep, tracing
the roads in my mind
just minutes before morning
on that slow roll home.


Henry Crawford, American Software