I live 30 minutes west of a small city of 150,000 people. Walking down the main drag, called “Princess Street”, I remember my previous life in Toronto, my home for over 30 years.
It is early twilight on a November afternoon. I am in town to take a ‘haiku stroll’ for this week’s Sense of Place writing event. The air is biting cold. Not fully prepared, I promise myself to wear warmer gloves and a scarf next time.
In the descending dusk I feel caught in a void between the warmth of daylight and the glitter of night lighting. I beg the street lamps to turn on. After a few blocks I sigh with relief as they do, but there is still a lackluster feel to this outing. Is it me or the people around me?
eyes barely lift
along the sidewalk
In the summer, baskets of flowers liven up the street but today the only signs of vegetation are barren trees.
by the curb
This small city is not spared from homelessness, a worse predicament here than in a larger city with more services, I imagine. I marvel at how people are panhandling with no blankets or chairs.
seated on frozen cement
by her cardboard sign
My walk is a short “U” down towards the lake and up again to my target, a warm coffee shop.