poetry by j matthew waters

shelter in the city

an old top hat tumbles
down an urban alleyway
one gray wintry night
a single boot and smile
stopping it in its tracks

held beneath a streetlamp
scratches appear in the
faded charcoal felt
each crooked line a story
in and of itself

silvery lining holds imaginary
tales of happenstance
and midnight waltzes
murmuring like a seashell
untouched for centuries

gloveless fingers slide across
bent brim collecting
snowflakes and glances from
all the homeless eyes
seeking cover for the night

february two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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7 thoughts on “shelter in the city

  1. oh – I really like this one, John – the seashell reference such a great idea – fascinating – I want to know what happens next ! 🙂 K

  2. Very visual here. Emotional close. Nicely done!

  3. artsytart on said:

    “tales of happenstance
    and midnight waltzes
    murmuring like a seashell…”

    A wonderful comparison, John! And as usual, your trademark compassion and nostalgic reverie infuse this poem. It’s sounding very clichĂ© of me to say the poem and subject resonate, but with that image of conch-shell/tophat? You had me at “an old top hat.”

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