Saturday, August 12, 2006

Sticks and Stones

after a long day of
coating doors with
polyurethane
i'm driving down
Pitcher Street--
a sad old street
of empty houses
midway between
the new house and
current apartment

right at the corner
by shake 'n bake
(the roller rink)
i'm waiting at a stop sign
enjoying the cool air
the sun fading orange
when--

KUH-RACK

a rock hits
my rear triangle window
(the expensive one)

what! i say to myself
my teacher have you lost your mind?!?!?
voice revving up

checking the rearview mirror
i see a cluster of boys
between 9 and 12
in a small pack
so i move into reverse
while forming
a small sermon on
why not to throw
rocks at car windows

they all take off
running into the alley
while my window--
a spiderweb of cracked glass
creaks like too cold icicles

i guess i could have parked
confronted them on foot
just to look them in the eye
and say that was wrong

but this is just another day
just another car rolling by
the blue police light
blinking a staccato warning above
the block deserted
except for an aimless band of kids

what is it that makes a person?
is it the long reach at the
too high clouds
to stuff your mouth full of
cotton-candy dreams?
or is it that you are where you are
windows boarded
torn screens
houses who gasped a last
breath years ago

for a realist
this is life

what's another broken window?

8 Comments:

Blogger twitches said...

Damn, that's some bad luck. Don't guess Home Depot will fix it for you, though.

I like how your poetry turns into something unexpected, like "what is it that makes a person?" I don't know the answer to that question, but it's these interesting twists that make a poem.

12:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry Em...I wonder if those expensive window repair people pay kids to break windows to keep them in business?

2:04 PM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

i love that you refer to your raised voice as your "teacher voice".
i also love how you process things like this.
you are wise, ms.e., very wise.

i am sorry about your window.
sigh.

3:39 PM  
Blogger penguininthesun said...

awesome

3:42 PM  
Anonymous jorge said...

I'm ever grateful that the rock hit the "expensive" triangular window rather than the driver.... Thanks for bringing the reality of what life is like in this "All American City!" I imagine that it is far more important for the police to be guarding the tourist areas, which put CASH in the city's coffers, rather than patroling the neighborhoods where restless kids are looking for adventure!

5:10 PM  
Anonymous susanna said...

Oh no. I would've been so angry at those little hooligans. I admire your ability to see the whole picture and then ask, Why? You're a giving and forgiving person.

11:45 PM  
Blogger snowsparkle said...

how you compact so much beauty into so few words about such a moment is amazing. but the most beautiful thing about this piece is that you have transformed a moment into something more powerful than a rock and a gang of kids.

5:13 AM  
Anonymous abbie said...

I have just stumbled onto your blog via Ms. Kathleen, but from the past 2 posts, can say...funny how "crime" happens in the places we least expect. Glad to have another "teacher blog" to inspect as I make my way into that world.
looking forward to future posts,
a city-to-suburbs-back-to-city-mama-soon-to-be-(paid)-teacher

9:47 PM  

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