GARY’S TREE by Mather Schneider

For years Gary would park his cab
in the shade of the tree in the corner of the parking lot
behind the Wafflehouse
on 22nd Street
when it got hot in the afternoon
and it was slow and he was tired
of driving.

Gary’s 58
with a long white beard, one replaced
knee
and he walks with a cane, been
driving a cab for 18 years.
He can remember
when that tree behind the Wafflehouse
was small
and the Wafflehouse hadn’t even been built yet.

Yesterday he told us other cab drivers

“Some fuckhead cut my tree down!
Now I got no place to go.
I’d like to take an axe
to that son of a bitch!”

And there are people who will say
Gary needs more courage
to live a fuller life
and there are people who will say
Gary needs to find another job
and anyway
it wasn’t HIS tree,
it wasn’t his PRIVATE PROPERTY,
he had no RIGHTS when it came to this
tree.

I guess that’s true
but there aren’t that many trees
around here
and it gets hot in the summer
under that sun.

The thing is, Gary’s old, doesn’t have much
to live for anymore
and now he’s talking
about killing someone with
an axe

and there isn’t a cabby in the yard
who would stop him.

One Response to “GARY’S TREE by Mather Schneider”

  1. Doug Draime Says:

    Mather continues to crank them out masterfully, a powerful and excellent portrait.

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