on the road off the road

22 Mar

in many ways if not all i am typical:
suburbanite divorced father married again
owned two houses sold two houses
mowed the lawn took out recycling and garbage
shopped at target on saturday
now living in a basement apartment
with noisy upstairs neighbors
tuna fish sandwiches for dinner
kid with us every other weekend
i fit nicely in my niche
but still remember what baudelaire said
beware the wrath of the common man
the quiet man
the man with a state job
who gets up at 5:30 in the morning
who showers who shaves who pushes paper
pencil envelopes pays bills on time pays rent on time
beware the man who smiles every day
and says good morning and humors you with weather anecdotes

every other sunday
when i bring my daughter back to her home 120 miles away from mine
i get off the highway glazed from a weekend of nonstop activity
and two hours of straight driving on concrete causeways
and off to the side, just near the exit
stands a woman dressed and made up eerily to look like
the statue of liberty
she must be advertising some sort of service
for some sort of business
but the statue of liberty
every sunday i get off the highway
winks at me and flips me the quick bird
it’s strange
i’m not sure if the statue knows me
or recognizes me
it’s beyond metaphorical
this gesture
it’s beyond absurd
it’s quite comical
and somewhat warranted if you think hard
i’ve been flipping the bird to this country for ages
it was about time it retaliated

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