joke on the road (20160828)

the street runs through
a good, quiet neighborhood
though cars drive too fast
zipping through crosswalks
where stop signs should stand

amusing themselves
two boys took an orange cone
and placed it in the center
of the street
then evacuated to a spot
out of the radius
of incrimination
to sit and watch

i remembered as a kid
laying double-sided
swaths of masking tape
in the street and waiting
for cars to hit it
then slow down
the sound mimicking a flat

as a pedestrian i laughed
with those boys
and as a driver
i swore at them
but then i just felt bad

only the first handful of cars slowed
and through some kind of
group psychic message
cluing in drivers to the prank
a swarm of cars barely
slowed at all

they left after a few waves
their cynicism confirmed
or the laughter unsatisfied
or their disgust getting
the better of them

8 thoughts on “joke on the road (20160828)”

  1. A story in a poem, steeped in memory… Intoxicating and feel-good piece of writing, leaving me with a pleasant hangover of nostalgia… thanks! πŸ™‚

  2. yes, captures a particular nostalgia and the momentary state of mind at bored teenage males in this country. reminded me of jr high friend and I constructing these gun powder flash pots (his father made his own bullets, so there was coffee cans of gun powder out in the workshop) and sitting them out on desolate country roads, waiting for the single car to eventually drive into view. We would light the fuse and a brief flare of flames would get the car to hit the brakes. By the time the car came to a stop, the flame had died out. Unfortunately for us, the third car, after coming to a stop, turned on the car’s red and blue lights. πŸ™‚

      1. we jumped into the ditch on the side of road, among the tall weeds…he had his flashlight out and shown right on us (in our white tshirts) but he pretended (i believe) to not notice us, probably figuring we had enough of a scare (and also maybe remembering his own pranks at that age). πŸ™‚

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