Philip Schaffer     

poem for a chalk Robert Downey Jr. 

it only took the artist
being gone for five minutes
for a woman to role her
metal cart over the realistic
chalk rendition of
Robert Downey Jr. on
the sidewalk outside
Union Square Park.

and worse

she did it with disdain!
she actually looked down,
saw the thing,
walked RIGHT over it,
and smirked at her petty
triumph. I wanted

to yank her back by the hair
and shove her nose in it,
like a dog that defecates
on your rug. "Bad
middle aged lady! No!
No ruining the pretty picture!"
I wanted to yell at her.

to pay her in turn;
showing up at her work
(my guess in middle management)
and shuffling her papers,
unalphabetizing her rolodex
and removing paintings of
boats and pastoral scenes
from her walls.

all it would have taken
was a slight adjustment
of her trajectory, and
she would not have rubbed
all the yellows, and blues,
and reds together and
blown dust in everyone's eyes.

And I was with
the artist, and I was her,
and I was everyone taking
the pictures, and I was the
quarters in the hat and we all
lamented the loss
of the beautiful chalk

Robert Downey Jr.

Poem posted in this space August 15, 2013

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