the heater hums warm air

coffee cools at my elbow

Belle the Cat sleeps in a chair by the window

which slowly reveals the world outside in the dawn light

the street is silent

perhaps a car or pickup will pass by

perhaps not

here suits and heels are reserved for church, weddings and funerals

ranchers and retired physicists meet for bakery coffee

commune refugees and lawyers tell one another grandmother stories

struggling meth-heads get advice from online software developers

you can leave your car running outside the liquor store

while you swap stories with the owner

with every expectation that it will be there when you leave

the county sheriff told me long ago

around here you have to assume

that everyone is carrying a gun

Copyright Michael Douglas Scott