Why He Stands to One Side
by David Rosenthal
Despite the fact that escalators move,
he found himself at some point walking up —
as if he willed the movement of the crowd;
as if his will had something left to prove.
When he was still a boy he’d climb the down,
then turn around and barrel down the up,
or pace himself to fall into a groove,
applying will to will to hold his ground.
But now one will wins out above the rest:
as motion all around him escalates,
pedestrian momentum is compressed
to be usurped by more momentous fates.
Rosenthal lives in Berkeley, California, with his wife and two daughters. He teaches kindergarten and first grade in the Oakland public schools, and he teaches poetry at Cazadero Music Camp and the Writing Salon. His poems and translations have appeared in print and on line in Raintown Review, Measure, The Chimaera, Unsplendid, Blue Unicorn, and several other journals. He has been a Pushcart Prize nominee, a Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award finalist, and a semifinalist for the Richard Wilbur and Donald Justice Poetry Prizes. His website is http://users.lmi.net/rosen4