Wednesday, October 30, 2013

poem of the day 10.30.13


simon’s mother starts yelling at him
the second they get on the bus at bay parkway

because the kid races to the back on his toddler feet
and starts climbing the row of seats

simon is maybe two, maybe he’s over two now
he’s kicking at a man who’s trying to read the post

the old guy is smiling at simon
but you can tell that he’s pissed because his face is red
and he keeps trying to move further away in his seat

simon’s mother thinks this is funny
she laughs as simon starts scaling poles
she laughs as he squeals and shouts and stomps

she looks around at the rest of us for confirmation
to prove that simon is as endearing as she thinks he is

some people would call a child like this precocious
but they’d be wrong
because precocious denotes intelligence, being clever, gifted

simon is a moron and you can tell it
by the way his slobber hits the bum-piss-stained floor of the bus

i hate children like this
they are road blocks on the path of my peaceful existence

kids like simon should be chained in backyards
or made to wear one of those baby leashes that you used to see

but simon’s mother is liberal with her child
she doesn’t care that he’s still kicking at the old guy
or stumbling around trying to knock over my beam bottle

maybe simon’s mother is just tired
i’d be if i had to put up with this kid

i look at her and i think, yeah, she’s tired and done
and she’s letting simon be our problem for a little while

the chick is young too
she doesn’t even look thirty yet

i should feel bad for her for having a kid like this
for wasting some good years shouting his boutique baby name
carrying his stroller and nursing bag on brooklyn buses

but i don’t

it’s not my fault that something was missing in her life
that she needed to create simon
infest this bus with a simon
plague the world with a simon
who squeals and cries and screams and kicks old men

i can’t empathize with a woman like that

in truth, i’d like to see her reach her end and lash out at simon
give him a good whack on the ass
the way simon’s got it back in my day

but instead she reaches for the child and tries
to coddle him like he’s a teddy bear

of course simon screams at being captured this way
he worms out of his mom’s arms and falls to the stained floor

he reaches for my booze bag but i snatch it away in time

i try not to be too cross because simon’s mother
is giving me a dumb, red-faced, apologetic smile
as simon gets up and goes careening down the aisle
face forward when the bus hits a red light

another old man tries to reach for the kid to brace him
but simon screams at him and slides like pete rose

his mother has no choice but to get up
cumbersome stroller and thick nursing bag in her arms

she reaches simon but he runs away

he’s heading toward the front of the bus
where the driver sits protected by a pane of unbreakable glass

as blissful and ignorant of this kid
as a fat buddha daydreaming under a bodhi tree.           

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