Walking a Mile in His Wingtips


Eric Gansworth

So when I asked
Great Spirit to grant
that I may
criticize my neighbor until
I had walked a mile in
his mocca
that sexless
rumble murmur reply "go
for it"
was all
I needed.


So I slipped
into some Nun-
Bushes and wingtipped my way
on down to Youngstown
            (where real estate value never
            sleeps by the shores of old Niagara,
            and the school jurisdistrict is safely
            out of rage
                    of range
                    of reservation borders
                                    and bullets)

And landed, somewhat disheveled
in the living room of a
                            5 BEDRM. 2 1/2 BATH, WHIRLPOOL
                                            MUST BE SEEN
startled family of four
mystified, sat crosslegged in front of the
immolating marshmallows barely hanging on,
        dangling from stainless steel shish-kabob skewers.
And I said
        "Hey! I like this."
"I really like this."
"Pass me one of them marshmallows." They did
I squished it through my teeth
savoring the decadence.

This was the good life.

I made them stay
in the kitchen,
at first,
and then bedroom, laundry room,
utility closet,
garage, storage shed, back yard
        "Damn it! Your're spoiling my view!"

but I grew
just grew
tired of all
this moving

So I said to hell with it,
and shot them all
waking Youngstownites
never heard gunshots in
Youngstown before
        (none of them being over seventy-five
        years old).

And I finished off the night
by the fire
on the shore of old Niagara,
loosening, but
keeping on
the sudden comfort
of my neighbor's

© 1998 Eric Gansworth

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