A Maze

It’s good for a local island boy to see life from somewhere else once in a while.

Madison was an eye-opener, the whiteness of it all,

snow for the first time, and people who saw me

as a snowflake of color, fluttering through

their dirty looks and smiling sing-song taunting greetings.

It’s like being set loose in one of those mazes, you know,

like Harry Potter or Jack Nicholson in The Shining.

In the Midwest they have people mazes, corn labyrinths everywhere.

You actually pay for this wary step into Thesean mystery,

every minute an hour’s worth of sweat,

tiptoeing through the zig-zaging, who knows maybe dead end

of goodtime old white, yellow-hating American entertainment,

praying you don’t get lost like Nicholson or Cedric.

The corn is high, at least as high as an elephant’s eye,

and you slide around blind corners praying you don’t

run into some masked redneck with a chainsaw or a machete,

hunt for daylight, like Walter Payton hitting the line, to beat death.

But of course I exaggerate, it’s so much simpler to handle than the Goblet of Fire hunt,

or the panting race against time and subfreezing temperatures

for a crazed hotel caretaker bent on slaughtering his son.

Much easier especially when you’re in that fairy-scape with folks,

white ones actually, true friends you’ve made who grew up there in Wisconsin

and know their way around this jolly green dairy land attraction.

And when you waltz out with these good people at the end of the odyssey you’re rewarded

with cheese curds, Point beer, and the good fellowship of some Midwest aloha.

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