What Strange, Wonderful Times


Just an ordinary Thursday run,

To the bank drive-through,

To the library.

An old man in a silver Mustang,

Shouting at a sedan ahead of us:

“Oh, yeah, how do you like that decision he made? Wipin’ his ass with the Constitution! What do you think of that, huh? Oh yeah, nice bumper sticker you got there, buddy!”

The sedan driver looks mild enough. Mid-’30s, bespectacled, educated looking accountant type.

Who me, profiling? No way.

But still.

The old man in the Mustang looks a fool,

As the owlish young man ignores him,

Makes a deposit, and drives away.

I fight off an urge (why fight it?) to jump from my Jeep,

Walk up to shouty man’s Mustang,

And shoot him with my best “shame on you” maternal stare.

“Who raised you? Seriously? You cowardly jackass. Best be on your way.”

And may the wind be at your back,

And may you melt off the earth, 

Like snow off the ditch.

May God turn their hearts. And if he doesn’t turn their hearts,

Let him turn their ankles,

So we may know them by their limping.


Next stop, the library.

Where a little girl with pink-sequined flip-flops

Hides beneath a counter,

Near the front door.

I smile and wave,

And she pretends I didn’t find her hiding spot.

A secret kept.


Off to my own favorite spot.

Old carpet,

Scratched tables,

The smell of books.

Just right.

Another day,

Another adventure.

What strange, wonderful times.


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