So Often It Becomes Normal

Paul walked in circles around a tree.
The tree shaded him on all sides.
Paul knelt and untied his shoes, but kept them on.
He lay down on the grass to nap through the heat.
The tree rustled its leaves a little to give Paul
the illusion of a cooling breeze.

At the corner children begged dollars for food.
They held cardboard signs messages
printed with hunger and several spelling errors.
They blocked traffic in an act of extortion
though they were too young to know what extortion meant.
They blocked traffic until the police arrived.

The children were not connected to Paul
through blood, marriage, community or religion.
Paul snoozed through the police round up of the kids.
Paul snored once as the squad car door slammed shut.
A grasshopper landing on his cheek woke Paul.
Paul sat up and noticed traffic flowed through the intersection.

copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney

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