Since you couldn’t, for us both, I cut cross the campus,
Crossed the bridge, and trotted down the eroding gravelled hill,
Arriving creekside as Gandhi’s lookalike steps onto the gravel path where my shortcut ends.
There he halts, and without even a nod to me, turns to face the creek’s opposite cheek.
Was I that sorry a sight?
Well, eye-to-eye isn’t the only way to see
And he’s not, after all, as noble as his noontime stride.
From behind, I note his green jacket and greying combover, and
His green and blue sneakers, featuring dual Velcro straps.
You, I chortle, recalling your always untied laces, beg a pair in black.
And he, for the inspiration, gains a slight smile, albeit to his back
Which I pass, to view the latest scrawls on the canvas of the underpass
Some sending messages to — by deed and content — enrage Mayor Ford.
A west-creeping snail on this southern route barely avoids my boot
And again you make me smile, because your absence saved his life:
With you plodding by my side, he would’ve sounded a crispy crunch
And I could’ve pretended, in comparison, to be oh so aware!
Louder now that I’ve stopped,
The rushing water gurgles over the round rocks,
Seeming under the partly cloudy sky to
Squiggle like silver ink from shore to shore.
I’m carried away in each undulation till a blue jay sweeps out of hell
And onto a nearby branch, pitching at me thoughts like:
“Could I be so still he’d think me a scarecrow and perch on me?”
“Yeah, and according to legend, you’d be doomed!” I tell myself.
Then I scram, laughing like a lunatic, gravel crunching underfoot;
I’m late, and I’m imagining myself the one who got away.
Oops! The snail is still crossing the road. His luck I look down,
Skip him, and a little red ant only a lama would try to skirt.
The old man, like the drake, has flown off while I wandered,
But a shadow passes overhead and I see the sky a morose grey
Now I must trot back or be soaked while I report to you
About a regular, yet magic-filled day,
One that lightens the heart, despite its heavier clouds.