By George Bilgere

I am standing by the pop machine
at the gas station, drinking a root beer.
It cost a dime, my whole allowance.
My bike—a J. C. Higgins three-speed—
looks cool: I just washed it
and waxed the blue fenders.
Grownups are moving around me
in kind of a fog. Actually I feel sorry
for grownups, with their neckties,
their dark jackets and serious talk.
I am wearing low-top Keds.
Their shoes are hard and gigantic.
Try climbing a tree in those shoes.
How am I supposed to know
that an old, white-haired guy,
a grownup, is watching me
from his desk in the future,
writing down every move I make?
Why would anybody even do that?
If there’s one thing I don’t like
it’s writing. Writing and division.
This root beer is actually excellent.
It’s a hot day. My fenders are waxed.

George Bilgere’s eighth collection of poetry is Central Air (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2022). He has received grants and awards from the NEA, the Pushcart Foundation, the May Swenson Poetry Award, the Witter Bynner Foundation, and the Society of Midland Authors Poetry Prize. He teaches at John Carroll University in Cleveland, where he lives with his wife and two exceptionally fine little boys.

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