Featured: $20 Taxi Ride

Olivia Vande Woude

Listen to the poem below:

 

Wears a Nike hat

Scar on his left wrist

3 centimeters long.

Inserts the key

of a chain with a yellow pig dangling

among other
5 carefully serrated pieces of gold.

We are a lot of people in this country,

Ethiopia

I am from the Northern part.

Likes the quiet

of Alexandria

says it’s good for old people.

Told him I do too.

That’s good, that’s a great feature.

Yellow wool lined teeth
Sweater vest

Camel colored shirt, striped
Coffee and cigarette breath

Receipts lie

endless

on the floor.

Clock says 5:15
forever.

My wife works at a school for grown people,
Financial aid department.

Has lived here

7 years

his mustache informs
and eyebrows tell.

“Morning Fresh”
pink car
freshener sways

Unfolds glasses

with a plastic rim

to gently rest on dark ears.

Sits on a throne of 2 pillows

worn, sun faded

one of a taupe color
other a cheetah pattern
still comfortable.

Car cuts in front of us on Whitehurst Ave.

Complicated, no?

He chuckles.

City traffic bad, I go around
you see

I know the streets

more or less,

Parking problem? I inquire.

You’re right, it can happen that way.

Smiles.

Pass homeless people under bridges
Easter Egg baskets strangers gave them
roll on their sides
in the bit of wind
Winter’s exhausted.

One time I got lost with a client
You miss exit,
I’m telling you, I’m telling you,

you’re lost.

Didn’t charge her the whole cost on the meter
when I went the wrong way.

It’s better like that
You have to be human, yeah.

Bad destination otherwise.

I live my life like that, it’s fine

Thank you God.

One man, he decepts me,
gave me $20,
made me give him $10 later,

I say, Honest,

straight

is better.

Don’t worry about others, they must change

themselves.

I agree.

Thank you, thank you.

Folds and puts down glasses gingerly
Pats finger on the crinkled spine of the map
Reassurance of our arrival.

That’s good, That’s good,

Whispers quickly.

Shall I go in?

 

 

 

IMG_4384Olivia Vande Woude is a 17-year-old writer who has been featured in Literary Orphans, Stepping Stones Magazine, Poetry Space U.K., Five 2 One Magazine, The Sacred Cow Magazine, Carnival Magazine, Poetry Super Highway, Canvas literary magazine, and other publications. She is an intern at Tupelo Press Teen Writing Center, where she is co-editor of the Crossroads IV Anthology.