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A round ball of fire sinks lower in the sky,
painting the atmosphere with streaks of crimson and gold.
The colours fade and onlookers turn away from the image in the sky,
shivering as a cold wind penetrates their thin jackets.
Street corners darken and raccoons poke their noses out of garbage cans
wondering if it is time to come out.
Park swings rock back and forth in the strong wind,
the happy park-goers are long gone.
A child leans out a window, staring up at the dark blue sky.
She lets out a squeal of pleasure as she spots the first star of the night.
She lingers for a while,
bathed in the glow of a single white star.
Her mother calls her for dinner and she closes the window with a sigh.
All along the street,
windows are being closed and curtains are being drawn.
Electrical lights are switched on,
letting cracks of light onto the street.
Street lights flicker on and create pools of light up and down the avenue.
Lone people hurry down the street and disappear into houses.
Doors open to let them in and laughter and light are let into the dark streets for brief seconds
before the doors shut and once again it is cold, quiet and dark.
Nightlights are turned on as young children are put to bed.
They pull their blankets up to their chins and listen to the muffled laughter coming from downstairs.
Soon all lights are shut off as everyone settles in for the night.
The only noise is the steady breathing of humans
and the scurrying of furry paws on pavement outside.
Midnight strikes and a baby’s cries shatter the night’s tranquility.
Lights turn on for brief moments as the baby is rocked back to sleep.
All is silent again.
At 5AM, alarms start blaring and the world awakes.
Darkness retreats and day begins.

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