promenade

I am taking a walk about 2:30 p.m.
pass a group of kids standing around
looking at the engine of a car.
the hood is up and one of them appears
to be working on the motor.

I walk by
am thirty or thirty feet away from them
when one of the kid yells:
“hey, old man!”

I stop and turn, wait.
they don’t say anything, look down
at the engine.

I wait a moment longer, then turn
and walk along.

I hear one of them laugh, “I don’t think
he liked that!”

I don’t mind at all: at the age of 62
I can still kick their ass
or
drink any of them under the
table.

close to the grave be damned, there’s
not one of them
I’d prefer to be.

it’s a good afternoon.

I hope they fix their
engine.

Author
Charles Bukowski
Written
1982
Source
Original manuscript