don't tread on me

Picture of the Day
yesterday | today tomorrow

December 15, 2001

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i told you we should have taken the train

in the st. paul waiting room, a seasoned passenger poses
for a picture w/ the roll of soft toilet paper she pulls out of
her pocket. imagine postal clerks as airline stewardesses
& you get a sense of amtrak employees--a practiced blend
of condescension & impatience as they show you your place.
we board at night in minnesota cold, sleep badly, then a day
of nothin' to do but stare out the window. my shoelaces are
bright yellow, too long, untied, and trail behind me. a little
girl follows me from car to car, stepping on them, giggling
each time she manages to stop me. i ask her, "how would
you like it if i stepped on your face?" gee whiz, that is not
a very nice thing to say. when did i become such a mean old
man? i have the rest of the continent to ponder that question
& a propped pillow for napping when i can't find the answer