The Age of Wisdom Lost?

January 20, 2018

At the age of sixty-four,
I find I am a dinosaur.
Shaking my fist at the young,
Telling them what they ain’t done
to earn the right to shut me down.

Squeegee boys in my face
while at a traffic light I wait—
Smear that filthy rag
and you’ll get sprayed fast!
Don’t cha know I got
wipers and fluid for that?

Go to the local gas-station store
and some homeboy en-trep-e-neur
tellin’ me I can’t park in the lot!
‘Cause he has rented the spot
to wash carsBlack biz-nez,
he says with a shoulder roll
and a grin.

I tell him, That don’t mean nuth-in to me!
As I march into the store,
having parked in front of the door,
a spot I’m not supposed to be.

Picking up my items and slapping them
on the narrow ledge,
with an edge I ask the foreign counter dude,
How’d you let these fools
take over your parking lot?
Counter dude smiles sheepishly,
saying “They’ll be gone tomorrow, mahm.”

To which I reply,
No need for all that! You got a whole big lot!
Just give ‘em a smaller spot!

Closing the door as I leave the store,
I see I’m blocked in
by a young girl in a silver car
waiting to get out of the gas lane,
rolling her eyes out loud.

I jump in my car, put on my seat belt,
start the engine.
Fiercely (and prayerfully) I maneuver
out of my space,
between a rack of tires
and the girl’s bitter face
as she inches her car forward
to let me pass.

What the hell’s happened to this world?
I fume, shaking my head
as I pull out onto the road
to drive home.

And then, I ask myself,
Have you lost what’s left
of your dinosaur mind?
You could’ve been killed!
Twice!

But if I don’t speak up,
who will?

A day later,
I swing by the store again.

The car washers are still there,
but so are the parking spaces.

The car washer asks,
Want your car washed today?

Naw, man, I say,
But let me give you my card.


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