Alan Falkingham

Shot glasses slam; backslap, slap, slap,
In car lines, SUV school moms gulp down happy pills,
Yoga, botox, empty bottles of gin and sin,
Lawyers lie with paralegals; life on the Hill.

Life on the Hill. Fundraisers at the country club,
Blue pill erections, prom queens, drama queens,
Cheerleaders, fearless leaders on the fields,
In boardrooms, war-rooms and living rooms.

Tires hiss, tired eyes watching headlights strobe by,
Thud of wiper blades, thunk, thunk, thunk,
Deep sighs, lonely stares and remembered affairs,
A long dark flight of stairs; life on the Hill.

Life on the Hill. Briefcases bulging with green,
Wheelers and dealers, kickbacks and election stealers,
Cocaine cut on coffee tables, clink, clink, clink,
Innocent bystanders, another DUI and too many lies.

Exhaust fumes billowing from beneath a garage door,
Whores, blackmail, Grand Juries, front page stories,
Emergency room dashes, stand clear, stand clear,
Graveside wives with dry eyes; life on the Hill.

Life on the hill. Nooses swing from every lamppost,
The living no longer alive beyond their smiles,
White weddings, church collections, useless reflections,
Confetti lies trampled, beneath a cold, cold sky.

An early morning jogger canters down an empty road,
Sucking in air, heart drumming, run, run, running,
Mizzle falls silently on a slick blacktop, stretching away,
Through the mist, sunlight breaks on the Hill.

Up the hill, shining wet with sweat, muscles burning,
Shedding ghosts from shoulders like sixty pound boulders,
Breaking the crest on some forbidden quest,
Finally falling. Exhausted, afraid, but freed.

Far away from the firing range, pop pop, pop,
Deer pairs wander through the yard grazing,
Wood smoke rises from marshmallow pit fires,
Life on the hill. Alive on the hill.Alive on the hill, soup kitchens and special needs,
Coaching between lines, bedtime routines, sweet dreams,
Opening treasure troves brimming with gold,
Take a breath, slip off the disguise. And exhale.