Monday, July 12, 2010

poem of the day 07.12.10

the race

the little arab girl is watching me
she keeps turning around
expectant
as her mother pulls her along fourth avenue
she knows i’m gaining on them
i think maybe i should walk slower
just in case i’m scaring the child
but she doesn’t look scared
i can’t explain it but
she has this expression on her face
something between intrigue
and fierce competitiveness
it makes her look bored and constipated
i’m tired of being looked at by this kid
so i kick it up a notch and pass
when i look down to my left
she’s right there with me
keeping my stride
grinning to herself, like the little bitch she is
she starts walking faster
huffing and puffing in the humid july morning
moving as quickly as her bony legs can take her
she thinks she’s something, this kid
she thinks her shit doesn’t stink
she thinks she’s going to beat me on my avenue
it’s some victory for her to best my old ass
a mild accomplishment
in a young life that hasn’t amounted to much
and won’t amount to much more when
she reaches my age
this idea makes me sad
i tell myself to grow up and slow down
let the kid pass me and get to the corner first
let her have a little something to get her through the day
but then i remember that i’m walking five miles to work
and that this kid is in the middle
of three summer months
with nothing to do but fuck around
and sleep in on weekdays
i feel myself pick up the pace
i start to move
sweat beads on my forehead
and drips down the back of my neck
in no time the kid is dust
and i’m on my own
barreling down the avenue
i cross an intersection just as the light turns red
leaving her there with her mother
i look back, point and laugh
the kid has her arms crossed
and tears in her eyes
good, i think, turning down 78th street
at least she’s learning something about the world
during her summer vacation.

2 comments:

Bukowski's Basement said...

Funny how we get caught up in little things like this...

John Grochalski said...

hey..it was the little girl's fault. i was just taking the typical miserable walk to work. :)