It’s almost midnight
and I’m driving Howe
on my way home
after a poetry reading
that went pretty well
when a man far from
any crosswalk, intersection,
or traffic light, jaywalks
across six lanes,
sees me slow down
so he can walk where
he wants at any pace,
but turns with dark eyes,
and fingers me or my Honda Civic
with a David Suzuki scowl
like we shouldn’t be
strutting the street with
our giant ecological footprint,
or because we are an affront
to his sense of ancient ownership,
or his limited resources
for human politeness,
and I want to run him
over for his verbigeration,
not to mention his inanity,
for the sheer profanity
of his insanity, which
I quickly confess is
an extreme obeisance
to rules and laws like
a fired Levitical priest
who is really just another
agnostic under his robes.

~ Carl Leggo

Carl Leggo is a poet and professor in the Department of Language and Literacy Education at the University of British Columbia. His poetry, fiction, and essays have been published in many journals. He is the author of several books including: Growing Up Perpendicular on the Side of a Hill, View from My Mother’s House, Come-By-Chance, Teaching to Wonder: Responding to Poetry in the Secondary Classroom, and Lifewriting as Literary Metissage and an Ethos for Our Times (with Erika Hasebe-Ludt and Cynthia Chambers). Also, he is a co-editor of Being with A/r/tography (with Stephanie Springgay, Rita L. Irwin, and Peter Gouzouasis), and of Creative Expression, Creative Education (with Robert Kelly).

3 Responses to “Jaywalking”

  1. Superb energy here — a real flash in the dark
    You never know Who or What you’re goiung to meet next — maybe even the truth.
    A fine piece of wriitng.

  2. And a small note: when the dark lightens again, let’s make that word “going”

  3. The poem, “Jaywalking” begins with the innocuous tease of the everyday and swivelles deeply to the primordial core of existence – the tension of images is strong.

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