A Young Man's Fancy


I'm sitting on the brow of the hill
in the park
And a carload of backhats drives into
the parking lot behind me
Base blaring

BOOM shakka lakka lakka

I don't care who they are or
why they are
But they're loud and they're
there . . .

I continue to sit in the sun
sipping clarity from my cooler
tossing an ice cube -- the non-musical kind --
to Cricket, who crunches it
until the shavings soothe her parched throat

Do dat yo dog, mah?

A backhat has shambled onto my spot of grass
wearing long, purple basketball shorts
cartoon shoes
an oversized purple sweatshirt with a dinosaur
on the front

It is twenty eight degrees Celsius in the
glowing afternoon
Rivulets of clear protest track from under his
suede backhat and over his
furrowing, pinking, freckled brow
causing involuntary blinking
as his ample blond lashes flick at offending
His hand cannot betray its primal
urge to make a clean sweep --
His staredown eyes are in total charge

Yes, I answer, That's my dog. Why? What up, bro?

He reddens and glares at me
as though what I've said opens the floodgates
for Armageddon

Yoo makin fun a da way I talk? MU-VAH-FUC-KAH!

No, I explain, the way you spell.

His blue eyes cross in hard concentration
He frowns
His fist unclenches
His hand twitches, then jerks
Then makes the quick move to his forehead
Swiping away the glistening comeback
he'll finally remember later in the pool hall
Meanwhile, he shrugs and shambles
back to his blaring car.

I crack another can and wipe
my own sweating brow with thankful relief

Cricket stops growling and wags her tail.

©RG Liberty
Summer, 1995