“What The Hell Is That?”

I say as I spot a shadow
Moving on the side of the road.
The shade creeps, feral like, towards
The sidewalk. I stiffen with tension,
Preparing for potential combat.
Or flight. City life has trained me
To be weary of rabid raccoons
And cat-sized rats that are as equally rabid.

But here, in the suburbs,
I’m unfamiliar with the wildlife.
Are there too many house pets
For the fauna to be bold and dangerous?

Cautiously, I stop and observe the shadow’s
Pattern of movement. It slinks underneath
A street light. I realize that it is a deflated
Helium balloon being pushed by the night wind.
Its message is congratulations. For what, I do not know.

Copyright 2012
A. J. Hayes
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