Late Night Poetry: Where the Sidewalk Ends

It’s time once again for Late Night Poetry, a newish monthly feature here at the Skinny, (where our motto is: My Sleep Train Seems to Be Running Still On EST).

You folks know Shel Silverstein, yes, of course, right? One of the best books ever written in English IMHO is Where the Sidewalk Ends. I tend to focus on Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout (who Would Not Take the Garbage Out) and other of the wackier poems from that collection, but I find the title poem is more poignant as time goes by….

Where the Sidewalk Ends
from “Where the Sidewalk Ends” (1974)

There is a place where the sidewalk ends
and before the street begins,
and there the grass grows soft and white,
and there the sun burns crimson bright,
and there the moon-bird rests from his flight
to cool in the peppermint wind.

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
and the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
we shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow
and watch where the chalk-white arrows go
to the place where the sidewalk ends.

Yes we’ll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
and we’ll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
for the children, they mark, and the children, they know,
the place where the sidewalk ends.

– Shel Silverstein

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