Regular Poem: Counties Don’t Have Ordinances

7 Apr

Sometimes when I think
about people
I think about
what roles we would all play
if my life were
a sitcom.

It hits me hardest
when I happen upon
a character
in real life
who haunts me–
some person
with so
crammed into
our short interaction–
some person
I should’ve studied harder,
should’ve learned their name and full job description,
should’ve memorized every word they spoke to me,
should’ve followed them somewhere just to see them interact with someone else–
some person so totally unexpected
as to be beautiful
rather than jarring.

Over a week ago
I went to the county courthouse
and was briefly ranted at by a woman
who worked in the county clerk’s office.

She explained
with such intensity and expertise
about how counties do not have ordinances
that I wish I would’ve had a hidden dictaphone–
or something equally clandestine and anachronistic
to record our conversation.

I think about the incident every day
and quiz myself on its details

and wonder whether her name is Deborah
or whether she is divorced and now lives alone with her lhaso apso
or whether she drinks white wine and listens to Grateful Dead records in her basement.

Whoever she is,
she is a recurring character
in my sitcom–
this rare breed of passionate bureacrat,
a spark,
a scene stealer,
someone so worthy
to know.


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