Named after the state, or maybe that girl with rocks filling her pockets to the brim and the pull of a river over head. Either way you’re Virginia, a street like any other, a road leading to a destination, a pathway to a place. For most you’re tarmac, asphalt, gravel, and concrete; you’re traffic signs and badly painted lines. To others you’re a walked beat, a dim reminder, a hard haven, a house and a bed.
You’re also a devil, Virginia.
Let’s not forget.
Screaming sirens often haze your half nights, perforating but not causing a tear. You’re learned in this, a quick study. Thank the gunshots’ echo, the fading cries, every tire squeal and peel. You’re a pro, friend. This is quickly all you know. Rubbed in deep, scrubbed on tough. These are lessons in threats of a break-in, thieving passerbyes, paranoia on high. You are many eyes put to so few actions. You are early morning bus stop transactions. You are indifference paired with familiarity. Hit-and-runs dealing death. Drive-by sorrow. A fear downright hollow.
Still you retain a sense of calm.
Crickets do chirp. Flowers, of course, grow. Traffic flows.
Come a new day your air is again chesty and strong.
And I can almost forgive your long, midnight wrongs.