Roam

When all I can say is repeat what’s been said

It’s hard to believe that the words in my head

Are anything worthy to write or be read

Perhaps I should focus on running, instead.

For who reads newspapers half a day old?

The company’s heart’s barely beating, I’m told

Surely my paper and life’s work will fold.

What could be better than hitting the road?

Making the stories I’d once been reporting

The future, the past, and the present distorting

What would mom say if she saw me resorting

To running and laughing and shameless cavorting?

As it turns five and of course I head home

The sky is an ominous gray monochrome.

I wonder which parent gave the chromosome

That gives me the hesitant instinct to roam.

Something about September

When in a city, it’s easy to feel like you live in a Lego set. Everything is hard lines and rigid angles. Even though people in suburbs spend about just as little, if not less, time outside as city folk do, they still get to see the trees, hear the wind outside their windows.

In the city, we wade in a sea of white noise, our eyes just peering over fog and static. We avoid the other heads popping above the sea of stimulation and rush, necks bowed, to our destination.

I always feel the urge to sit in the park. I rarely sat outside when I lived in a suburb. I think it’s just that here my window faces a brick wall and an air conditioning vent and there my window faced a forest. I saw birds in their nests under my porch and worms fell from my tree and onto my car in the morning. Fog coated the road on a cold night, the kind of whispy fog that looked like trapped smoke. Frogs belched, squirrels and woodpeckers clutched to the trees, spiders spun masterpieces on the windowframes.

Here, we see rats and roaches, pigeons and mosquitoes. The flowers seem too bright to be real and the people seem too real to be bright. Here, we lose our connections to nature and therefore to ourselves.

I keep a bamboo plant on my windowsill. I touch its leaves when I feel sucked dry of my humanness.

It’s something about September. It’s still warm enough to wear one light layer of cotton, but not for long. I remember the city in the winter. I remember the walls of grey and ceilings of white, the sludge-lined sidewalks and frozen toes in boots not made for such abuse. I feel I should suck in all the summer left in the city and keep it warm in my bones, radiating through me until next April when I can shed my winter coat.