My Kind of Wall

wall of heroes

My Kind of Wall

I like street photography.

It’s my chance to see what I’ve never seen

and to meet whom I’ve never met.

 

Ask permission?

Or just snap away?

 

One cold winter day

I took option #2

playing with light and shadow.

100th of a second freezing our relations.

attending to a wall of heroes.

It was only later

I noticed the lone smile.

 

My subjects did not smile.

They were objects for my lens

Not terribly happy

to be captured.

Then again, no pose

meant some life

swimming below the surface

that might pop up

and confront me.

And now that I’m terribly objective

how do I become the subject

myself?

 

              ***

It’s cold out here–

so I sit in the sun.

 

Me and my buddy

could use hot rum.

 

No warm-up jog

knees that won’t run.

 

I was expecting you

to come looking for fun.

 

Taking our pictures,

but let me see me. Done?

 

Have you noticed the one

smiling face on the wall?

 

He looks like me–

minus my black cap,

sunglasses, stash,

black leather jacket,

minus everything, except

my black face–

He’s a leader I’d follow—bar none.

 

He had the force to stun

his guards on Robben Island.

“I had a long holiday for 27 years.”

 

In prison he caught heat,

“What are you, Afrikaner?”

He read their poetry

to understand their troops

and master the master

better his tricks to shun.

 

And he keeps on smiling

’cause he won.

So why aren’t you, my friend?

 

Again, why aren’t you?

 

I’m not smiling either.

I promise. It’ll come……

                   ***

My nervous crooked smile

wordless

meets his Philly grit.

He’s still not smiling.

My MainLine mindless grin

means nada to his urban guile.

 

I cap my lens

take 3 steps forward

offer my hand

not wanting to leave him

a photographic object

and rile him up

with my NY Giants hat.

 

Hey, we have a lot in common.

We both beat Tom Brady and his Patriots.

Let us compile the Super ways we beat them.

 

An inner smile bubbles up.

I reach out mano-a-mano

letting our contact flush away

any Eagle-Giants bile.

 

Would you like a copy of your picture?

 

Sure.

 

Here. You type in your e-mail.

I’ll send it to you.

 

How do you know

I even have a phone?

 

Everyone has a phone.

Even the senile,

who butt-dial

yak herders in Mongolia.

 

Thanks. I like our profile

nothin’ vile

sittin’ in the sun

steppin’ away from our pile of worries

holdin’ on to our Philly- special lifestyle.

 

Gotta-go.

Gotta hava WaWa.

Gotta feed my reptile.

 

Oh? What do you have,

a crocodile?

Drop by again

We’ll shoot the breeze

Set yourself down

in our alleyway aisle.

 

Smile,

or not.

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