Written in Arlington

During the month of April 2020, Arlington Poet Laureate Emerita Katherine E. Young is posting poems from the forthcoming anthology Written in Arlington, which showcases the poets and poems of Arlington, Virginia.


Neon Rain at Midnight

by Carol Heller Nation

My favorite intersection on rainy nights
   is Lee Highway at Spout Run Drive
   when blooming Bradford pear trees
   glow ghost-like under streetlights
   as the road plunges into midnight

And neon lights on the corner pawn shop
   splash images of blue and rose guitars
   across shimmering wet black pavement
   to the rhythmic flash of traffic lights
   in bursts of red and green and gold

As the drugstore’s open-all-night sign
   beckons in red beyond the parking lot
   empty save a solitary police cruiser
   and rainbow-colored pothole puddles
   pretty as a painting on black velvet

Carol Heller Nation (1938-2009) graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in journalism. She retired after many years of service as a publicist and speech writer at Arlington County Public Works and the Arlington County Manager’s Office. “Neon Rain at Midnight” first appeared in Lee Highway: Beyond Pavement, a collaborative project published by Arlington County Cultural Affairs. 

Written in Arlington / Spoken in Arlington is a print and digital collection of the poets and poems of Arlington, VA, edited by Katherine E. Young and published by Paycock Press (forthcoming, fall 2020). It is supported in part by Arlington County through the Arlington Cultural Affairs division of Arlington Economic Development and the Arlington Commission for the Arts. For more information, visit Arlington Arts.

Image: After the Rain mixed media/collage on canvas by Anya Getter (fragment)

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