waiting for a number

everyone’s out there
somewhere far away from where they set out by now
on a journey full of stories
my grandfather’s bicycle ride to New Jersey’s
southern shores
but I never moved
I lied
I had to
I made it all up
I never sheltered or abetted
outlaws from Ireland hiding stateside
laying low for awhile while the pencil holes
up their noses healed
I just listened
lent a hand from the sidelines a rah rah
with shoulder pads up over my ears
I never picked up the shovel or dug the grave
or tore an engine apart
because I enjoyed it
I never ate the black foundary dust that seeped through
the paper mask
I never changed the diapers of old people
waiting to die as if waiting for a bus
that is very late
there I am waiting for a number
with a carrot in my pocket
one must eat
that hasn’t changed either
it is one story told over and over
we hardly listen to it
during most of our meals
at the limits of our knowledge
and vision there is only imagination
beyond our meerness
I told you
I make it all up
*

waiting for a number

Anthony DiMichele

Friday Harbor, United States

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Artwork Comments

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