The Pedestrian

By Erica De Petrillo

(inspired by the Ray Bradbury short story of the same name)

Eight o’clock, I walk alone

I feel my feet on the cold hard stone

The lights are out, save for the screens

A graveyard littered with colourful machines

 

In ten years of walking by night or day

I’ve never seen another human walk my way

What are they doing?

Watching television waiting

 

Waiting for what I ask?

Waiting for time to pass?

 

What’s up tonight on Channels four, seven, eight, nine?

Where are the cowboys rushing, who’s coming to your rescue?

The dozen murders, quizzes, revues, they won’t save you

Turn on the lights and make your tomb-like houses shine

 

When people sit like the dead

The lights touching their faces, but never touching them

I wrote the books they never read

They don’t understand me, I don’t understand them

 

Even the police were startled

By my walking alone outside so late

When they started to interrogate

I understood I didn’t fit the mold

 

Asking all those questions!

Just ‘cause I don’t like televisions!

 

What’s up tonight on Channels four, seven, eight, nine?

Where are the cowboys rushing, who’s coming to your rescue?

The dozen murders, quizzes, revues, they won’t save you

Turn on the lights and make your tomb-like houses shine

 

Walking for air

Walking to see

Walking for walking

Walking for air

Walking to see

None of these reasons deemed satisfying

 

Walking to feel alive

Walking to feel

Does that one count?

 

Working all day to come home

They watch TV together, but they’re all alone

 

What’s up tonight on Channels four, seven, eight, nine?

Where are the cowboys rushing, who’s coming to your rescue?

The dozen murders, quizzes, revues, they won’t save you

Turn on the lights and make your tomb-like houses shine

 

Nine o’clock, I ride alone

In the back of a police car

 

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