Night Crawlers

I commend this poem to your attention–by Jackie Oldham, a Baltimore writer.

baltimoreblackwoman

I.

I used to be a Night Crawler:
one of those people
on foot
in the dark,
going somewhere.

Now, I nearly run them down,
barely able to see them
skittering across the street,
in dark clothing,
with only the dancing light
of their sneakers
visible in my headlights—
if I’m lucky—
as I drive across town
on a Sunday night.

I wonder where they could
possibly be going
at this hour—nearly midnight!

At the corner of North and Fulton,
on the unlit side of the street,
I spot a lone woman
walking her dog.

On my side of the street,
a corner lit garishly bright
by a large, portable rectangular
spotlight on the sidewalk,
and, a few feet away,
by a neon-blue police light
flashing atop the streetlamp,
a gaggle of male nightcrawlers
hangs outside The Oxford Tavern,
an improbably British-style building
in the heart of Sandtown,
where the…

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