Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Debris

by Jim Rapp

Emerging from the church after the funeral,
waiting, engine running, for Alice
to dash back into the church with the
sympathy card we had left in the car,

You flashed in front of our car,
behind the car parked car ahead of us,
around the right side of it then
shot left, in front of the car,
racing back to the curb
            where you had started.

Wind-driven, you puffed your chest
and pirouetted, reaching out to touch
the back right fender, then the front right
before making your daring dash,
cross-traffic, to lie panting, shaking with
            laughter (I suppose) in the gutter.

If your mother had seen you it would have
frightened her witless, but she doubtless lays,
oblivious to your reckless capers, neatly folded,
safely kept, well down in the sack with
            a hundred others like her.

A block away red t-shirted revelers caper
and shout, loudly enough to raise the dead,
swirling in and out of the narrow spaces between
downtown buildings, bottles and cans already
            dropping, draining into the gutters.

And mothers, neatly clipping coupons from
the weekend edition, are oblivious to their
            children’s peril.

It is antics like yours – wild cavorting in the streets,
endangering drivers startled by your antics –
that validate the culture’s distrust of your kind,
give impetus to the movement to ban you
            and your ilk outright.


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