Sandra Rouse

Jazz in Suburbia

along these breezy streets i ride all the time
spinning from pinwheel cul-de-sacs of manicured lawns
my foot to the pedal gives glide to teenage (my)
joy ride Miles CD trumpeting beating along
it’s fall and schools begun
grey clouds lower down and the nose of a cop’s car
hard black metal takes pause behind spent hydrangeas
my foot comes cool to the brake
out of the curbside split-level out of place
out of rhythm
out of time against the dew laden lawn
a white bearded Hasidic Jew
scuttles like a garden gnome trailing a black coat that sweeps and choreographs red and gold leaves they dance to the top of his black saucer hat
he leans and disappears into the waiting Oldsmobile
its ghostly breath rising in a puff of cotton fumes the group glides into the turnaround
of the cul-de-sac
I breeze along with my jazz
trumpet bellowing passing the cop
-smile the groove and the sound, blind to the sight of shrubs molded like mushrooms


Sandra Rouse’s prose work appears in The Chattahoochee Review, Snake Nation Review, Serving House Journal, and Our Stories. Her first chapbook, Inklings, was published with Troy Book Makers, 2015. She participates in the open mic series 2nd Sundays at the Art Center in Troy, NY.

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