The Alley

by Evelyn Brown Christensen '71


“Watson Alley”
      the street sign said
And I chose to walk
      this way instead
            of down the Avenue

It’s not so smooth—
      the alley way
With clumps of crabgrass
      in the cracks
           of worn-out patchwork paving

Nor is the alley neat and clean
For here is where
      the trash cans stand
           the laundry hangs
                and children play
Here I see the dry dead stalks
      of summer’s backyard corn
And crooked boards adorn a tree
      and dogs and cats run free

The alley’s certainly not the street
      for those who like things
                clean and neat

But here is life for what it is
No facades or cover-ups
No prim, trim lawns
           and flower beds

You’ll have to walk the Avenue
      To have that sort of view

But as for me
      I think I’ll stay
           and walk again the alley-way.