While Walking

I am walking as befits
one of my generation, race
and gender: assuredly, with every
expectation I’ll reach home
without being assaulted or held
for questioning.
The sky is blue.
No alert has been issued today
warning of an imminent attack
and all that disturbs
the peace is the help
the neighbors have imported
to keep their lawns neat.
A Red-shafted flicker
dips in flight
between a pine tree
and a palm. I’m placing
one foot before another
along Encanto Boulevard
when a lone car
stops for the lights
with a window rolled down
and the driver nodding in time
with the amplified anger
pouring out into the sunshine.
The words blend indecipherably
with the surrounding
urban hum,
creating a mélange
of sounds, with hatred
beating its wing
against the air.

David Chorlton has lived in Phoenix since 1978. He grew up in England with watching soccer as a major part of life although he has managed to move on to other interests since then, including reading and writing poetry. Read other articles by David.