Writing Catalog

Jack Oster

Grade: 12

Bay Village High School

Instructor: Erin Beirne

Killing Time


Killing Time

What is he here for?
A high-speed car flashes overhead, swallowing the screams in a split second
Doesn't the gushing of wind against his hair excite him?
Isn't this what he came here for?
What made him agree to wait in line?
Or is it an irritating interruption of his peace,
while he tries to pass the time?

From his face, I cannot tell;
he looks like a hollow, swaying, empty shell;
he looks at the girl on the other side of the metal divider.
She's around his age.
Maybe if I play it cool, she'll look my way;
This thought visits him again and again,
over the entire trip

He is behind most of his friends; he let them all
go ahead when they first arrived at the back of the line;
a couple hours ago, the park staff opened up
a partition. More and more bodies filling in,
what once were empty rows of metal poles.

When he entered this purgatory, he saw the other side
of the frayed rope. Only a few feet from him,
someone stood in a spot, that would cost him
Five unbearable hours to reach;
ten thousand prolonged steps.

Four hours ago, he was joking with his friends
about what happened last night at the hotel.
Three hours ago, he asked about visiting the other side of the park.
Two hours ago, they played a guessing game on his phone.
An hour ago, he talked with his buddy about his past relationships.
Now, he is a couple feet from the entrance;
Now, he is silent.