“Near 40 At 4”

(Near Forty° at Four)


t-shirt shivvering

boy gone to heater on wheels

a half-hour stalk!


  • (Small sixth-grade (I hope!) kid waiting his ride from a 3 a.m. early middle school release, in a thin white undershirt tee and mid-thigh shorts throws rocks at the brick walls of his school while awaiting his ride – for more than an hour after the last car, the last bus, has left.  He huddles under a coat against the sun-drenched brick wall holding onto his backpack.  He needs help: he would make a fourth-grade girl laugh the way he tries to throw rocks hard. I noticed him as I was outside-chores doin’ and did not see the rocks-throwning attempts until 3:30 p.m. that short-day session and when I finished I went back to check to see he was flinging stones – until someone walked or drove by and he’d stop: sure sign of guilt, but I do not know where the shame of getting caught or throwing like a spastic pre-pubescent distaff caused his halt.  I wanted to go over and show him how to toe-the-rubber, shift his weight, do all those things, and remember to push off with the rubber-foot-and-leg and bow the back and really give a full-armed let-fly.  But I am smarter than that!)