Thursday, January 29, 2015


There is a star that plays hide and seek with me
as I smoke outside late in the night.
If I move a fraction it hides
behind a leafless twig on a branch of a leafless tree,
I think it is a game of fear of knowledge,
the star knows I may point it out to a stranger
ending our little game.
I know this sun is bigger than the one of our day
or I’d have no view of it at all but still
it seems to not want me to know its steady light,
makes me want to find it, search for it
as if it is afraid to be known by anyone but a me
who will play its game.

This morning long before school
a young black boy, maybe 9 or 10 was outside
as I stepped out to smoke.
Like the star he tried to hide,
sitting in a snow bank
not sure if I saw him or not.
I said nothing, but smoked
waited for his ass to get cold enough
to get out of the icy snow.
Like the star this son of the future
is afraid of me,
my beard, my hair, my skin color.
Muttering the boy eventually got up,
came out from behind the twig of his choosing,
momentarily showed himself
while finding a better darker place to hide.

I can do little
for either the sun of another place
or the son of this place,
fear finds everything, everyone.
I did my best though,
I finished my smoke came back inside,
left both to their own light
hoping neither burns out too soon
by wasting effort in playing
hide and seek from the unknown.

© M Durfee


  1. Powerful image, I like the way you contrast the light of the distant sun (or, the smart ass I am wonders if it is it a planet as Venus and Mars are in the morning sky) and the hope of the young boy all observed while enjoying a smoke...

    1. Definitely not a planet Jeff, right direction but wrong position, and way to early for the morning planets appearance. Hope in the kid-is better held in others for him. I think though there is hope for him, but it depends on the adults around him, some reinforce his negative behavior and another his positive. It is a time will tell situation to see if he rises from his hiding spot and shines.

  2. Interesting comparison. Ah, these are the moments og enlightenment.

    1. Rosaria, if nothing else the child was enlightened that even icy snow melts and wet underwear is uncomfortable. This particular child is not incorrigible yet, but he is trying hard to follow in his older brothers footsteps. It is them that need to honestly sit in the snow thinking about Black males in America and their path.

  3. oh the wasted effort of that child. And of so much of the human race.

    1. In his mind Charles it was, I believe a necessary effort to try to hide, though I hold him blameless, he knows I do not contemplate on his two older brothers in the same way.

  4. interesting comparison between the sun and the son...
    i think there is an allure to being found....and being sought after
    so perhaps that is part of the game as well....the last stanza brings this
    home very contemplatively...

    1. Sadly Brian the little by has been told to be afraid of me, and I will not disabuse him of that notion. At one time he was a little smart ass trouble maker, I prefer his fear over his past actions. *shrug* One can try but will fail every time to parent every child they come across.

  5. Mark, I can totally picture this whole thing. I'm happy I'm not afraid of you! xo

    1. No one, Jodi, should ever fear me until it becomes the wisest way. You have no reason to ever fear me, we're to close for that.

  6. You may not be a threat to sun or son, but I don't see you as a harmless old man, either - hairy or not.

    1. You know Alice you have a point, I do not hold ill will for much, but being harmless and holding people and things harmless can go away faster than a blink. One thing about living in lawless lands one has to be ever cognizant of is situational awareness.

  7. One is there, waiting for you... the other is intentionally hiding, fearing that you will find it.

    1. One, the kid, hides with intention, the other by my slight movement. At the moment the kids ass hit the icy snow I simply saw the poetry of the moment.

  8. Hey ... was waiting 4 u ... how r u?

    1. OK meowmomma, never wait on a walking man, I have slowed my pace these past couple of years is all.


So Walking Man I was thinking...