This Morning’s Men (Sighted on a Bike Ride)


On a street crew near the park,

around thirty, I would guess,

the usual jeans, boots, sleeveless

tee with yellow safety vest,

trucker’s cap with mesh sides.

Browned from working in the sun,

good-looking, shades, flashing a grin,

he’s leaning forward, hands on knees,

watching a coworker clear a line.




He’s spreading fertilizer on a lawn

underneath an enormous hat,

in neutral-colored chambray shirt,

faded jeans and boots; from behind,

I would have guessed that he was middle-aged.

But when he turns, I see he’s young,

Latino, handsome, shirt halfway open.




Shaved head, a beard, straight-up posture,

black V-neck tee and camo shorts,

black trainers and low white socks,

exits house, walks toward van;

he’s in construction or repair—

he’s the type who builds and fixes.




Two shirtless skaters in just shorts and sneakers,

coasting downhill on Yale from Admiral,

clutching fast-food bags in hand.

The first one’s kind of hot: dark hair,

lightly tanned skin, lean and muscular,

at ease in the world; his friend is skinny

and pale, a bit self-conscious, a follower.






Walking along First Street

he’s short with a compact frame,

dirty-blond curls, glasses;

wearing a graphic T-shirt,

ripped dark jeans cut off mid-calf,

neon green band on left wrist,

right hand cradling the phone,

into the conversation,

navigating on auto-pilot.



Copyright 2013

T. Allen Culpepper












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