On Display

The youth were on display
even when they thought themselves at rest.
Falling asleep
in the early hours of the morning
at the counter of an old drugstore
a place they felt secure.
(Their fathers
and their father’s fathers
had sat in these seats.)
Never consciously considering
what lingered beyond.
Where outside
the world lived and breathed
as a salivating beast
roaming darkened streets
for the easiest of prey.
Occasionally it would turn its eye upon them
find them inconsequential
but appealing
and then without lingering
disperse.

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