Prosper Barter


Each day, noon.

I go out to the track

and walk around

the same woman

is there

a suburban mom like me

I suppose.

She walks clockwise, I walk counter.


The thing is, I’m not like her

I’m not

waiting for her husband,

her children to get home

blank faced

I mean

I didn’t want to live here

or in the other suburbs

in Seattle

Hell, I didn’t even want to leave

my mother’s womb

but I was kicked out

just like you.


You know the track I mean

between the middle and high school

between the middle and the end

It reminds me of the track

I walked years ago


the track at Tufts

which looked the same.

In those days I was a younger

version of myself

writing a poem in my head


as I walked around.

Today the poem

in my head is


why–as I keep walking away

she is there again

walking clockwise

as I walk counter.