Old Ways

I walk the old ways 
like I’m going somewhere new,
the rain-slipped pavements,
the asthma morning
learning how to breathe,
one day you know
I will pass 
from this ordinary place
into another world.
Upon a morning
cool and running alone,
through mist-soaked streets,
past garbage bins
and shining stone,
past workers
shrugging off 
spits of rain
with their hoodies
and staring deep
in prayer
to songs and lovers,
money and death
and ‘there soon’ texts
aglow in their iPhone.
Past the nail salon,
past the big man
in a wheelchair 
smoking at a bus stop
talking to a friend
like they live there.
Past the deserted crossing
on Temple Street,
the headlights radiating
up a hill
like an alien has landed,
the cyclist rolling down
spoking the air
with a brief metal sound
like childhood
might still be here.
Past a ‘For Lease’ sign,
apartment blocks
with gasps
of yellow waking light,
the rain-stained windows
on parked cars
like church
left empty in the street.
Past the fallen white
of frangipani leaves
where a sign
points to a circle
and all I can smell
is dirt and leaves,
where the small white buds 
of a tree I don’t know
lay scattered, delicate
as white ash, at my feet.
I’ll stop my running here,
I’ll feel my skin,
I’ll listen to something
like the wind,
an airplane burning low
throwing the sky to me,
and quiet as a ghost
I’ll take it in
and I’ll run on. 
Running fast
to something new,
going forward,
getting back 
to all these worlds in me.

– Mark Mordue ©