After School


After school a thousand boys
across the country wait for mothers
to pick them up at parking lots.

They stay for soccer, chess club,
Model U.N., extra credit, detention.
They miss busses, forget rides,

meet girls behind green dumpsters,
kissing through cafeteria odors,
spoiled milk, tater tot remains.

They get high behind bleachers,
laugh at cheerleaders practicing,
try to keep their smoke and anger in.

After classes the teenagers
rap the latest lyrics from songs,
joke about fat girls and giant vaginas,

fart on command, rip paper from
notebooks to write love poetry,
short stories, diaries, suicide notes.

They scan the cars circulating
through busy roads for their moms,
five minutes late, twenty, forty,

chew their nails, attempt homework,
listen to music, pick their noses,
stand up, pace, walk around, worry.

On the other side of town moms
know their sons need rescue, but
they're finishing up projects at work,

buying burgers at a fast-food place,
picking up pills from their dealers,
leaving hotel rooms where lovers

come out of bathrooms in just towels,
ask, What's the hurry?  Some are
already outside their son's building,

hiding around corners.  They adjust
their mirrors to watch their kids, do
their bills, listen to the radio, smile.  
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