Alicia Ostriker
March 2016



 

HOW FORTUNATE THE BOY


How fortunate the boy
            holding his father’s hand
                        crossing the street

coming home from a movie
            they let him stay
                        up late to see

in the night and the rain
            the taxi making a left
                        pulling him under its wheels

injuring the father
            instantly almost painlessly
                        killing the boy so that he will never

suffer the disappointment
            of being a man
                        lucky boy

child of our neighborhood vigil
            mourned by candlelight
                        and news cameras

hero of our petition to the mayor
            about this bad intersection
                        but the father is unfortunate

whose screams my neighbor says
            curdled her blood                               
                        and the taxidriver is unfortunate

who must go on living
            making his living
                        driving