That time has come. The streets are silent, cleared
Of people. Even dogs have disappeared.
All doors are bolted, blinds and shutters down.
A fear spreads like a sickness through the town.
And so the morning’s passed. The sun hangs high.
Hawk circles slowly in an empty sky.
Bare brown hills shimmer in the summer haze.
Clock on the wall counts down the end of days.
How many times now have I faced this pain:
Seen it go down, then watched it rise again.
One round is all I have, and if I miss
I’m dead for sure. How did it come to this?
The church bell chimes, and as its echoes fade
I step outside. This is the only trade
I know: another day, another fight.
Collect my fee, move on. No end in sight.
Don’t get me wrong; working freelance has its benefits. Lately, though, the pace has been relentless, and it’s felt pretty lonely; but when you’re being paid by the hour or by the job, it’s hard to turn any assignment away. I guess this poem could also be about anything we find ourselves doing over and over, wondering when we can finally hang ‘em up and find a little peace.
Prosody note: the couplets were there right from the start; I was 10 lines in before I realised I was writing in iambic pentameter. Just sneaked up on me and shot me in the back.