A Portrait of Walter

Walter is married. I like that.
I also like his hair, almost entirely white, but boyish in the way it sweeps to the right and lays flat (ish) against his head. And his eyebrows, bushy almost beyond belief. Walter works. Works hard, I imagine. His blue jacket adds to the illusion of youth, but the lines of his face betray him. Asian and wise. Maybe his family descends from royalty and here he is working on this damn mountain. Looking a little tired and a little lonely, as he rides this bumpy bus home from work. Saturday afternoons should be for Walters.


I think Christmas might always
remind me of you.
Already as I read
The Night Before Christmas to T
(it’s his favorite right now),
I think of you and your dad,
who I never got to properly meet.

Sometimes I sit dangerously,
thinking that somehow you’d see
and you’d have to say something to me
because it would bother you that much,
that you’d forget that we’re pretending
not to know each other.
I’d get under your skin again.

Little Town

Little Town, how I dislike you.
Do you ever get tired of being so low?
I mean, look up at those glorious mountains
all around you, do you envy them?
I do. My true love sleeps
on one of those mountains.

Your fields are a thing of beauty though.
On the bus once, C pointed one out,
said he knows the guy who owns it
and he helped clean the place up once.
I’ve been told you are named for these gorgeous expanses.
Squares of green amidst all the brown.

Little Town, how I like you.
Not always, but sometimes.
Especially when I meet C at 6 something AM
and he tells me random facts
about this place I thought I knew so well.
He reminds me how alive you are.

Let me stay as long as I need to.
I don’t mean to hurt you
by wanting to leave,
but I feel like someone else
can offer me more of what I need.
But Little Town, for now it’s you and me.

Small Town Subculture

M on the bus,
she’s a strange one.
Some days she doesn’t
say a word to me,
some days she acts
like I’m her best friend.
She calls my headphones “ears”
and compares me to her daughter.

The cute driver with the tattoos,
do you remember him?
He’s got a wife and five kids.
I know, that surprised me too.
He seems to be able to read
my mood as soon as the door opens.
He remembers my name,
probably because M talks about me.

There’s another M.
He’s kind of into me,
which is weird.
I find nothing likeable about him.
He’s slurring if it’s later than 5 PM.
Plus he wears a Ducks jersey,
if I liked hockey, I’d be a Kings fan.

Then there’s C.
He’s twenty two
and he’s got a beard.
He’s usually covered in grease
and worried about his hair.
I can’t say his name out loud
when I talk to him.

The people on the bus
go “blah blah blah”
“blah blah blah”.
The people on the bus
go “blah blah blah”
all through the town.