Emeryville Adventure - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Emeryville Adventure

10 p.m.
Emeryville, California
Amtrak Station
the city of Oz across the bay
but why pass up a cab
you have money
enough money
and there is always plastic
to stretch
your buying clout

why pass up a cab
and believe two locals
too friendly
one wearing an Oakland A’s cap
that they will come with you
show you the way to your hotel
short walk in the dark
and you and your wife
strangers here
long day riding the rails
stopping 6 hours in the south
as officials retrieved and investigated
the body cut in half by your train

strange day

so tired
and a screaming baby didn’t help
but why hoof it to a hotel
you don’t know how far
trust the Samaritans
ah yes,
but something wasn’t right
too close the perspiration on the elevator
husband, wife, banditos
the fake brown wood of elevator walls
the dirty ugly deep dark brown rug
the lug and tug of elevator on its cables
and sure enough
up at street level
young guy
number three
and they outnumber the two of you
but somehow
as they demanded money
maybe too much traffic
too many potential witnesses
though that didn’t stop
the I’m going to kill you
you mutha
give us yo money
but the incident ended
with you and wife descending
the stairs to the lovely
Emeryville Station starting point
luckily no knife to a kidney
luckily the A didn’t equate with assassin
but annoyance
major
but just annoyance
your wife ready to kill you
her fear rattling down the tracks
of her nerves

but why pass up on a cab?
why that decision of one-up-manship
that let’s walk lark
that naive taking it on faith
that all people are good
when
this was a train station
urban America
on the fringes of urban America
and in an earthquake zone yet

thank God you didn’t open your wallet

you could have been on the morning news


About the author

Dan Cuddy

Dan Cuddy is currently an editor of the Loch Raven Review and in the past has been a contributing editor with the Maryland Poetry Review, and with Lite: Baltimore’s Literary Newspaper. He has been published in many small magazines over the years, e.g. NEBO, Antioch Review, Connecticut River Review and online at Praxilla, The Potomac, and L‘Allure des Mots. In 2003 his book of poems “Handprint On The Window” was published by Three Conditions Press Contact the author.
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