Tread Upon


“Walk,” the Doctor said “Walk.”
     Burn off the fat
     Burn off the calories
     Burn off the stress
     If you want to see your Eighties!

“Walk,” my wife said “Walk.”
     They burn you without promotion
     They burn you with too much work
     They burn you with your salary
     Let them screw some other jerk!

“Walk,” my friend said “Walk.”
     If the passion’s burned away
     The respect’s burned out
     The Oxygen’s burned up
     Drop that woman, just walk out.


And so I walk.
     Through a park
     Through a tunnel in my mind
     Where past needs
         present issues
         and future dreams collide.

And so I walk
     With a throbbing brain
     With a burning soul
     I feel my blood
         my muscles
         my body heat lose control.

And so I walk
     Stumbling over rocks
     Stumbling over roots
     Oblivious to the park
         the people
         and the trees I brush through.


There’s a pain on my cheek
Where a branch slapped my head.
I touch it, expecting to feel my hot blood,
Only to find it cool instead.

Some idiot on a bike
Bumps his handle bars into my thigh.
The pain is sharp as I stumble aside
And he keeps riding by.

And the I stumble over something
I fall, my ankle twisted and hurt.
I look at the damn thing that tripped me,
A convulsing bird lying in the dirt.