Excerpt #78, Rocking-Chair Moon

Neighborhood Watch

Through the living room window I time
Mr. Felder as he jogs past our house
and disappears around the corner and
reappears four minutes forty-two seconds
later and disappears again,
another half-mile loop under his belt,
and I remember long before the incident
with Carly and the creep in the van,

when I first started monitoring
our star neighbor’s daily workouts,
and he could do a lap in three-thirty-seven
and the whole five miles in
under forty minutes,
and I wonder to myself
about peaks and valleys, his and mine,
how it feels to look down from the pinnacle
of that last mountain

and know it’s all downhill from there,
that this, right here, right now,
is as good as it’s ever gonna get,
but as I think old-man melancholy thoughts
about the inevitability
of life’s final destinations
and ask myself
if jumping through all the hoops
and over all the barriers is really worth it

and watch the sun redden the sky
and reflect off the roofs still glistening
with rain, Mr. Felder appears again,
and gives me a wave,
and I check my watch and
sense myself smiling at his lap time:

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