Friday, July 13, 2007

July 11th

I stood on my front step
an old lady looking for the fireworks pranksters
been popping for a week
the border collie afraid to go outside
to GO outside
from the bedroom window I had seen what looked like a 13-year-old girl
standing near the last round fired off in front of the neighbors house
a crowd of teenagers drove up
didn't look like the cohort of teens from down the block
I knew their mother would've had their hide
were these kids from blocks over?

the new neighbor from two houses down hopped out to join the group
the group not teenagers, but legal adults
the girl not thirteen
he's young
a homeowner
moved his girlfriend's car
set down a cardboard tube on a square base
lighter to the fuse
ran back several feet
it wasn't the pop of a bottle rocket but
with a bouquet of colors cascading above the trees and rooftops
hhhiiiiisssssssssss, poppoppop
above trees
old trees, large trees
in a dry, hot summer
branches bending over rooftops of houses ten feet apart
rooftop connected to rooftop by tinder

hayuk, hayuk, dude, whoa man! later!
five of the group slammed their doors
drove off

I started my walk toward the remaining four
you move your CAR?!
this is a neighborhood
a neighborhood with elderly and toddlers
who may not have an easy time of it if their


this is our investment
inside are our treasures
and now you're in my neighborhood, our neighborhood
blind to the ramifications of your teenaged actions
yukking it up with your buddies

Hi. I'm Jeanne.
I turned to him and called him by name
he looked at me surprised I knew
we'd met last fall when I stopped by after a ride and he was outside
he had shown me his kitchen redo
his face shamed at being called out
lost the cockiness of anonymity
look, these houses are just too close together
sparks landing on one roof....

he looked at the cracks in the street
at me
it won't happen again


it won't happen again

- tob


Pete said...

TOB, layin' down the smack.

Judy said...

Impressively restrained!!

Emma Pod said...

Good for you Old Bag! Doncha hate even having to do this kind of stuff in the first place? People should have more sense....but they don't.

Eclectchick said...

You go, girl!!!!

P.S. I feel your pain re: your pup and fireworks. :-( My kid hates them, too. Grrrrr.