night patrol

night patrol
by richard wink
The cars had pulled away from the spaces
leaving grave like shapes in the snow.
The office empty, the only sound
a dim hum from the alert alarm.
As the man patrols outside, his keys rattle
with each tired leaden step.
The torchlight finds a headless snowman,
his scarf and carrot nose lie prone in the slush.
The beam moves from east to west
settling on a discarded newspaper opened
on the TV listings for yesterday.
His breath forms a hazy speech bubble in the cold night air
though the only words he can utter are
“It’s fucking freezing out here”

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