World All to Myself

World All to Myself

By Dorothy K. Fletcher.

After dinner
after the dishes
and not long before sunset
when the sky begins to flame
and earth begins to settle—
I whirred my way on a bicycle
through my neighborhood.
I had not traveled far
when I realized I was all alone.
All children were inside,
not outside seeking each other
not squealing and laughing
over games of jacks or kickball.
All adults were missing too
no mothers called from porches.
No fathers washed their cars.
Only cicadas droned and
crickets answered.
An errant mockingbird floated by.
I was the only human.
As I zigzagged the ghosts
of earlier generations
I remembered how joyful
the summer night was—
the outside night
with lawnmower hums
barbeque smells
and the riotous laughter
of sweaty, dirty children playing
before Mamas called them home
to baths and to bed.
Even though all the world
was mine alone,
I felt a disconnection,
and I whirred through
the beautiful, lonely landscape


In 2007, DOROTHY K. FLETCHER retired after 35 years of teaching English in Jacksonville, Florida. At that time, she began her writing career in earnest. Already her poetry had appeared in 78 literary journals, magazines, and anthologies, and her articles had appeared in the Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville Magazine, Small Press Review, the Christian Science Monitor and Rider Magazine. She also had 3 books published— The Week of Dream Horses, The Cruelest Months,Zen Fishing and Other Southern Pleasures. After her retirement, she began a monthly column for the Florida Times-Union called “By the Wayside,” and that became the basis for the first of 4 histories she has written about her beloved city, Jacksonville, Florida. By the Wayside received a 2011 Jacksonville Historical Preservation Award from the Jacksonville Historic Commission of the City of Jacksonville. After that book, she wrote Growing Up Jacksonville, Lost Restaurants of Jacksonville, and most recently Historic Jacksonville Theatre Palaces, Drive-ins and Movie Houses which was a silver medal winner at the FABA Convention in August of 2016. Presently, she and her husband Hardy reside in the San Jose area, near their children and grandchildren, and whenever can, they go traveling.

Photo by BikeRanger.

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