Evacuated (December 25th)
The cars, which dripped their grease across the fields
of tar, have left, thick bands of altostratus
above the western ridge and coming at us
the only traffic now, whose gray conceals
the foundering sun. Past sycamores and pines
we tread along the empty roads and walks,
lamps recently switched on by unseen clocks.
My hound runs free as a fox and no one minds.
This roving through the dusk lessens the chill.
No guards to hassle us. They are all gone.
White textured paint will peel and fall at dawn
to overspread this campus on a hill
where a man and a dog can wander without worries—
till school resumes with its own brand of flurries.
by Martin J. Elster
Editor’s Note: Winter comes softly in this poem, but always with the understanding that it won’t last forever.