Tag Archives: neighborhood

Dare

27 Nov

The Snyder boys, a couple of years my olders,
take the brakes off a bike and teach themselves
to swerve down our steep street without crashing.
I refuse.  But they get me to bomb the wooded hill    
behind their house.  As I pick up speed, a bump
flops my beloved red crusher down over my face,   
turns the woody blur to black nothing
but hands on handlebars and wheels rolling
pine needles through deep space.  For two seconds
I consider myself the luckiest kid ever on a bike seat. 
I’m gonna make it, I believe, for the time it takes
to find a pine’s rough girth and fall back to earth.
The Snyder boys are there looking scared,
laughing, helping me up, checking the bike,    
and (best of all) telling me I must be frickin’ crazy.

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Shepherds Of The Street

31 Mar

The shepherds of the street who pass our house
each day do not suppose they go their way for me.
By gentle steps, one or two move past our place.

At times, a posse walks up to the store
to meet some friends or buy a pack of smokes

and as they go, they talk to me if I am there
and rise above my fear to catch their eye.
Or I may give a Hey, to my surprise.

I am sure I never have that much to say,
but when we speak—or nod our heads to make a sign,
or pound our fists to greet, or even when,

from in the house, I hear them on their way—
I find their presence to be not unlike a compass.

The shepherds of the street do not suppose
they go for me, but, steady, move their feet
south by southwest or else north by northeast.