XFRM BOY, a poem

his Mercedes' license plate read:


so I pictured him as a strapping young man

with overalls stretched across an autumn orange

and cranberry red flannel

throwing hay into neat, cubical stacks,

scattering pellets for chickens as the sun rose

and driving a giant, rusted green tractor

until the sun set back down.

then he would wipe his forehead

of the sweat gathered in appreciation of his hard work,

he'd go inside and kiss his wife

and play horseshoes with his children.

but today,

he was an elderly man,

donning a plain burgundy shirt,

tombstone grey sweat pants with

a matching burgundy stripe down the side

and clean brown boots

with no trace of hard work on them.

his hair was a dull silver

and his back slouched from

the weight of his protruding belly.

he wore a watch

but he didn't look like the type

to be all too concerned with the time.

he made his way over to the jetty

where he pulled out bread crumbs

and tossed them to the curious squirrels

and flocks of pigeons.

they gathered like old friends

who hadn't seen each other in ages

until a car honked in the parking lot

and drove the squirrels under rocks,

the birds into flight.

the man stood there,

alone now,

hands extended offering bread crumbs to

no one.

he hobbled back to his car

and left the parking lot

driving back to his empty suburban home

taking any lane besides

the carpool.

I thought about him the whole time I peddled home

where my wife and son were waiting

and beat my previous best time.

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