I Am, I Said

People can be such drive-by critics, those looking for value.
But maybe I prefer that, not being seen, compared
to rubbernecking quick-stoppers who sniff and split.

Listen, I say, catching their eye, I’ve something.
And they, to give credit, may listen a bit,
but then turn up their noses, give a quick flick
of the bothered wrist and slide by on their taste.

But I’ve no need to exhume my nosedived pride,
or even catch it tumbling into a waterless pool,
managing with what muscle I‘ve left to pull it up.

That save would rely on my too cycled breath
of scribbled personality, wheezy with age anyway.
But, I’d say, still bellowing well enough to just save it
from doing a swanie final curtain call, offering
another chance to peck out life in dark crannies.

They can blink by or stop some seconds to cut me,
but they can’t kill me yet, as long as I keep holding
my face at 90 degrees to the pavement and word forward,
one by one eked out in earnest, write so I won’t bend to break,
still not coming eye to gravel eye in a face-planting goodbye.

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