At Walden Pond by Mitchell Grabois

 

My car was rolling

but it was dying

 

Mercedes and Audi wheelwomen

sped by

blaring their horns

a form of screaming

screaming a form of hate

 

We were very near Walden Pond

very near transcendentalism

 

I came out of my hotel room the next morning

and couldn’t start my car

Tears came to my eyes and trickled down my cheeks

as if I were a skilled actor

 

A nun came out of the room next to mine

and spied me crying

She came up to me and let me know that she loved me

She loved misery and poverty

and the nearness to Thoreau’s condemned cabin

 

Thoreau needed so little

He didn’t need a Japanese car

He didn’t need a nun to console him

He didn’t need a god of consolation

 

There was a repair shop down the road

and the nun put her shoulder

to the cool metal

applied her love and minimal weight

and together we shoved the vehicle down the road

 

She was sweating when we arrived

and the mechanic

in a Boston accent

condemned me for using a nun

as an animal

 

It was her idea, I said

her idea

 

A nun is like a child, he said

She has to be protected from

her foolish notions

 

Mitchell Krochmalnik Grabois was born in the Bronx and now splits his time between Denver and a one-hundred-and-twenty-year-old, one room schoolhouse in Riverton Township, Michigan. His short fiction and poems have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines in the U.S. and internationally. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, most recently for his story “Purple Heart” published in The Examined Life in 2012, and for his poem. “Birds,” published in The Blue Hour, 2013. Grabois’s novel, Two-Headed Dog, is available in print and digitally.

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