We lived in a behemoth of an apartment building
Recently a potato farm or so my father said.
The front door opened onto a grand boulevard by
Olmsted and Vaux (Pronounced Vox).
Eight lanes of traffic, a bicycle path,
A bridle path, and splintered park benches.
Although inspired by the elegance of Paris the elms
On our tree-lined street did as they damn pleased.
Perhaps once a month a horse and rider passed
An annoying intrusion as neither lived in the neighborhood.
Once a year a collection of racewalkers jostled each other
Along the bicycle path to determine the fastest waddle.
Their hips swiveled as if free from muscle and joints
While their arms cranked like a turnstile gone mad.
In the summer there were more cars
Because my window was open.
In the winter there were more cars
Because no leaves blocked the view.
My child’s logic asked why do they drive away only
To return a few hours later, an opinion I still hold.
A traffic light planted atop a concrete stanchion
A deadly Statue of Liberty commanded silent authority.
With a metal thud or screech we raced down the stairs
Our heels emulating the sounds that first attracted us.
We gathered in knots but kept our distance
We placed blame more on conjecture than evidence.
Entertainment in the guise of concern
Something you do not want to admit.
Warren Alexander was born and still lives in New York City. He was identified as a cynic by his kindergarten teacher, and he honed this quality under the tutelage of Thomas Keneally, Peter Carey, and E. L. Doctorow at NYU, where he received his MA in creative writing. His satiric novel, Cousins’ Club, was a semi-finalist for 2017 BookLIfe Award for General Fiction. His work, Wrong Train, placed second for the 2016 Rick DeMarinis Short Story Award judged by Michael Matrone. He is currently working on a satiric novel about business.