Brian Kerr

I was thinking of the wind sweeping through the tunnels made by the streets, the avenues. A sidewalk tree butts against scaffolding. In some cruel arborist fashion, a metal rod sticks out of a busted tree knot to prop the grand wooden creature against a scaffolding that will never come down. There is a corruption. Scaffolding that darkens and uglifies a street. A building that will never get its due repairs. The tree creeks in the wind hinting that a violent collapse might take place atop me as I walk by. What will fall first? The tree, the scaffolding, or the entire broken-down building. The wind is cold, and I put up my hoodie. I feel like an old wanderer in the wild of some old medieval forest. A black man, uptown using an article of clothing for its original purpose, but who might think that I am using it instead to conceal, to intimidate, to make myself appear a threat. Dark skin and a hoodie make me look like a threat. My white mother said as much. We love but also disagree. The night wind blows in my face. Dust, swirled in the air misses my eyes. My ears stay warm, and I have my hoodie to thank for that.

Brian Kerr is an African American man who writes poetry, fiction and essays. His favorite subjects are world history, nature, animals, New York City culture and the experience of Black life in America. He is a graduate of The City College of New York MFA Creative Writing Program. He currently works as a non-profit development officer. He has published poetry in the Olive Tree Review and Promethean. He is a born and raised New Yorker where he currently resides.

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