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.
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,
hands extended offering bread crumbs to
he hobbled back to his car
and left the parking lot
driving back to his empty suburban home
taking any lane besides
I thought about him the whole time I peddled home
where my wife and son were waiting
and beat my previous best time.