Lace Curtains on Patrol
Carmen Taggart

Bats swoop low across the square, dusk settles on the village.
Porch swings creak, murmurs of parents conversing.
Children and birds sing good night songs, the day fades into darkness.
General Cats stretch and arch their backs preparing to patrol.
The day shifts from tasks of mundane and earthly endeavors,
The witching hour and the clandestine
Reign, the back stairs groan under the weight of teen-age lovers in search of the clandestine.
Old-Ladies peer out behind lace curtains collecting fodder for the morning meet-up in the village,
Thwarting all but the most ingenious endeavors.
Long after curfew bells have rung, gently tiptoeing over dogs that are sleeping,
General Cats come back with their prey after a successful nights patrol.
The dawns first rays cut across the village green dispelling the darkness.
Lovers settle into their beds as the last of the nights shadows linger in the darkness,
Believing that they have kept their meetings clandestine.
Old-Ladies put on their coffee pots as they prepare for the day time patrol,
They come together to share the news of the village.
Whisper, harp, and gossip all that went on while the others lay sleeping,
Shredding all hope for secrecy in their endeavors .
But don’t be too quick to judge them for there is no malice in their endeavors.
They cannot sleep in the darkness.
They walk through the memories of youth while the village was sleeping.
Remembered kisses stolen and hearts rendered in youthful meetings of clandestine
Nature.  The youth believe that the old-ladies forget and are the meddlers of the village,
But in truth they are grateful that the youth remind them of  their  own memories to patrol.
They watch, they remember, they peak from behind lace curtains while on patrol.
Aching legs deny their yearning to go on their own secret endeavors.
They have long stopped caring what other ladies say in the village.
If only they too could slip into the darkness,
A kiss, an embrace to sustain them until their next clandestine
meeting. The babies and the parents are sleeping
Exhausted from growing, from chasing after the day they welcome the peace of sleeping.
They rely on the old ladies and the General Cats to keep patrol.
Parents remember wanting to keep their youthful romances clandestine.
Grateful  that someone is watching over their teenager’s endeavors.
They hear the back steps groan in the darkness.
The ladies peer from behind their lace curtains throughout the village.
Memories of long ago clandestine kisses while parents are sleeping.
Lace curtains rustle as the old ladies keep patrol.
Thwarting all but the most ingenious endeavors to keep secrets in the darkness.

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