The beams there in the river.
What are they?
The boy in me wants to know.
The boy in me needs to know.
But the guy in the tie
does not want to be obvious.
Not too obvious at all.
There among the rusting tailpipes
in the dirt two beams are
exposed and washed by dirty waves.
Are they wood that rode in on the tide?
Or concrete ballast to protect the seawall?
The boy here would climb down the wall,
perhaps slipping and sliding on the moss
covered rip-rap, getting slacks and hands
smeared with muck in pursuit of knowing
what those damn beams are made of.
The guy in the tie has a different theory
to learn about the beams. He would walk
around the fence and find a rock,
or maybe a handful of rocks.
Then he'd ease to the edge
of the water, standing on the wall,
and one at a time, throw a rock at one
or both beams and then listen.
It's been a long time since
the guy in the tie threw anything,
let alone a rock. And even though
it's less than ten feet to the beams in the sand,
it'll take most of the rocks in his hand
to hit either beam once or twice.
And to hear above the gentle waves
what noise the beam makes when struck
by the rock, that might even require
yet another handful of rocks.
ONE MORNING IN JERSEY CITY
- By Anthony Buccino
Copyright © 2010 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved.