Still awake, he dreamt

The little boy—eight, at the time
—tossed and turned in bed.
Still awake, he dreamed of the future
And success and glory and acceptance
And all those other dreams
That eight-year-old minds conjure.

Listening through the flaking walls
Of his dusty, grimy apartment,
He heard cars passing
(Home, unfortunately,
Was too close to the thoroughfare).
Still awake, he dreamt.
He imagined himself in those rushing cars,
Zooming by with their rumbles and coughs,
Headlights winking with unwavering purpose.
Where were they going?
—To see the world? —To bear its weight?
—To uphold the channels which gave it life?

He tossed over again
And avoided glancing at the clock
Which mercilessly marked the time
And secretly revealed his guilt.
It was beyond his bedtime.
The mattress squeaked in rusty pain.
The blankets bunched together in a broiling tangle,
So he kicked them aside into a frustrated heap.

Between the din from the highway
And the murmurs which floated
From the chink of light under the door,
He swore an oath—to himself.
Whatever it took, however long he tirelessly worked,
He would get one of those zooming cars
And drive around with important matters.

Alas, it was late—school tomorrow.
And school the day after.
And the day after.

The bed was still hot.
He turned over again.

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