Hide and Seek

Haven’t found anyone 
From the old gang.
They must be still in hiding,
Holding their breaths
And trying not to laugh.

Our street is down on its luck
With windows broken
Where on summer nights 
One heard couples arguing,
Or saw them dancing to the radio.

The redhead we were 
All in love with,
Who sat on the fire escape,
Smoking late into the night, 
Must be in hiding too.

The skinny boy 
On crutches
Who always carried a book,
May not have 
Gotten very far.

Darkness comes early 
This time of year
Making it hard 
To recognize familiar faces 
In those of strangers.


Copyright © 2018 by Charles Simic. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on March 13, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets

About this Poem
“My poems are a mix of autobiography and pure invention and often take years of tinkering before they are ready, so I rarely remember when and how they began and do not keep old drafts to help me do so. I like being in the dark as to where I’m going and where I’ll end up. And I hope my readers feel the same.”
—Charles Simic