Summer Story

This poem came about as the result of the memory of a hot summer day a couple of years ago.

A Useful Little Story if You Can Read It

I was walking along the sidewalk, just walking,
thinking of nothing
but that it was only about eight in the morning and
the concrete strip doing nothing but radiating heat
I was trying to decide
if I actually felt it through my shoes
or just thought so
looking forward to getting into the shade
further up the road
thinking I could use a cold glass of water
Guess I really wasn’t thinking of nothing
But anyway
a truck stopped across the street
going the other way
I’ve seen a lot of trucks in my life
and I pegged this one for belonging to someone
in the landscape business
but not too prosperous at it
the sort of well-worn truck with the built up wooden sides
rakes hanging on them
lawnmowers chained down
and covered with tarps flapping a little
I hadn’t realized there was any breeze
Lady, the guy shouted,
I’m looking for Integrity Avenue
First thing that came to mind
Yes, I did think this exact thought
I thought
In their situation
I would be looking for Easy Street
just a flip little thought
and felt ashamed
not exactly knowing why
but like I’d insulted them
though of course I knew they meant
an actual Integrity Avenue
on an actual map
so I crossed the street
we figured it out
turns out
you go a few miles up the road
it was going to appear
They drove off
truck snorting a little as it picked up speed
I walked on,
thinking of nothing
back to feeling the heat on the sidewalk
hoping for a glass of water pretty soon
heading toward the shade up ahead
put back in my place
If you took the time to look
integrity stood written right in front of you.
but you did have to go to the trouble to find it
That’s a neat little package of a thought
But that doesn’t make it
any less true


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