Foolish Vigilante

Photo: Ray Reyes (Unsplash)

~ a battle of testosterone ~

as if mocking
my chaotic life
while I ran and hollered
and waved my arms
the bus eluded me,
scolding me with its breeze

frustrated, I looked around
and saw a tiny rocket
fly out the window of an idling SUV,
launched by a
big red-faced man
who oozed entitlement
and reeked of callous disregard
as he shouted into his phone

well that little rocket
crashed to the pavement
and lay there taunting me,
its serpentine smoke fingers
poisoning the air
and soon enough
sparks of disgust
bred vigilante flames
that burned a hole in
my indifference, and
adrenaline incinerated my fear

well my shoe’s humble sole
did me proud that day
snuffing out the little rocket
which I then launched
into a graceful, righteous arc
it sailed right past
RedFacedMan’s eyes
and landed on
the seat beyond him

and then my
“Uh, you dropped something.“
got soaked by his
“What the F@CK!?”
and my
“Ever used an ashtray?”
got smothered by his
“Somebody else tossed it!”
which I then extinguished with
“I saw you throw it away.”

the car door opened
RedFacedMan climbed out
and, both of us forgetting
how to form proper sentences,
we engaged in an
expletive-coloured conversation
that could have
wilted nearby flowers

until, wincing from
his cigarette breath,
my glasses flecked
with his spittle
I said “Sure, call the cops.”
and calmly departed
while RedFacedMan
retrieved the butt
tossed it into a hedge, and
punched 9-1-1
with his fat fingers
and began shouting,
again, into his phone

and while
one half my mind gushed
“You’re a hero!”
and the other half yelled
“You’re a fool!”,
with perfect timing
the bus arrived,
saving my foolish self
to live another day

– Paul Raworth Bennett


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