Tuesday, March 31, 2009

poem of the day 03.31.09

you become it

you become it
you welcome it
or maybe it’s the sore bones
gray hair, bad knees,
and visits to the doctor
that warrant it
but you are sick of the afternoon
although the day was good
and your belly is full of beer
and you and your wife
are waiting on the train
trying to get home
so you can start in on the jug of wine
resting on the platform
and there are skateboarders
at the train station
these effeminate looking kids
in neon t-shirts
with long greasy hair
and tight faded jeans
with chains dangling from their belts
and you wonder what girl
wants to have at that
what girl wants a man who looks
like a woman?
and you find yourself staring
at the skateboarders
and your wife wants to move
down the platform
to get away from them
so you quit staring a moment
and grab the bottle of red
you move a few paces away
but the skateboarders advance
probably not menacing
and you stare
and your wife stares
and one of the kids gives you the finger
so your wife gives it back
and one of the kid waves
but you stare him down
you stare them all down
these effeminate skateboarders from brooklyn
waiting on the same train as you
waiting to go home on a saturday evening
toward whatever is next
and your wife tells you to quit
looking at them
but you know you could take them all on
if you have to
but you won’t
because they won’t do shit to you
because you know those kinds of kids
you were friends with those kinds of kids
hell, you were those kinds of kids
in a small way
but now you are this
an aging man on a train platform
red-faced in a ripped jacket
with a jug bottle of wine
looking for a fight with children
anxious to get home
because you feel sick and suddenly aware
of how easy it is
for the years to tear away at your soul
without you even taking notice
until it’s too late to do
a damned thing about it.