Street screed

The kid was littering
one of a half-dozen
walking along at the tail end
he flipped a cardboard crown
up onto a branch overhanging
the sidewalk — Just happens
the property owner is pulling up
in his car and sees this

Tired of picking up litter
dropped, blown in, and dog poop
he opens his car door
bellows at the kid

Pick that up!

Well, the kid, a bit embarrassed
goes back alertly and does that
and well:
one of the kids isn’t quite a kid
she yells at the guy as he backs into
his driveway

That’s no fuckin’ way to talk to a kid
you should give a better fuckin’ example
how old are you

So the guy sez
what are you?
and she sez

I’m twenty and
I’m looking after him
and the guy sez

So you should have
stopped him
and she sez
I didn’t fuckin’ see him
you should give
a better fuckin’ example
and he sez

That’s your job
and she sez

If it was fuckin’ up to me
I’d have fuckin’ left it
He continues
parking his car
while she continues yelling
but he can’t hear.

What anger drove her
to confront a guy
trying to control litter?

She was classy looking
wearing shades and
good-looking well-fitting
jeans and such

Whose side am I on?
mainly on the guy’s
I can see his frustration
although it was more
a prank than carelessness
the kid really didn’t fit
the profile of criminality in
a discarded cigarette pack
a trampled hot drink cup
a smashed beer bottle
grafitti used paper products
plastic wrap styrofoam
old newspapers used pop cans
animal parts tampons rubbers
thermometers computer parts
irradiated meat tenderized
vegetables soy substitutes
taxi tires used snot ashes
spare body fat cancelled stamps
and chrome hood ornaments

So what got her started

Maybe it was
the moment her context
that had nothing to do with
the tree littering
male commands confrontation
maybe it had more to do with
the kids she was with
looking after brooding
her classy exterior
and the sad little insecurities
lurking inside or just
a perpetual conviction
that everything was
somebody else’s fault
But for a second or two
it may not have been logical or
poetic or victorious
but she was participating
yes she was that

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About riverwriter

Poet, playwright, duplicate bridge player, website designer, cottager, husband, father, grandfather, former athlete, carpenter, computer helper for my friends, theatre designer, backstage polymath, retired teacher of highschool English, drama, art, a baritone singer in a barbershop quartet, who knows what else? wordcurrents is on Facebook: Doug also has a Facebook page, "Incognitio", related to his novels.
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