Richard Luftig

North from Town

From the two-table café,

we look beyond the trees

to the deserted factory,

its sagged chain and rusted


padlock joining the hands

of the steel-mesh

not-quite-closed gates.

Broken, open-mouthed


windows gape as if

in perpetual surprise.

Nearby, the despondent

creek or river depending


upon the time of year.

This stream of sad water,

flowing south, carrying

the silt, the life of the town.


And then the dim streetlamp,

the only one on the dead-end

road not blown out, standing


silent sentinel over

the boarded-up house,

the only proof that we

had once lived together



Richard Luftig is a former professor of educational psychology and special education at Miami University in Ohio now residing in California. He is a recipient of the Cincinnati Post-Corbett Foundation Award for Literature and a semi-finalist for the Emily Dickinson Society Award. His poems have appeared in numerous literary journals in the United States and internationally in Japan, Canada, Australia, Europe, Thailand, Hong Kong and India.

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