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He sat impatiently at the light
waiting for it to change
then stepped on the gas, spinning a tire.
He knew he was going to be late,
knew he was speeding far
too fast as he passed the traffic on the left.

He wasn't about to be left,
he thought, jamming a cigarette into the light.
He hadn't let anyone leave him so far
and he wasn't about to change.
He'd make her explain her behavior of late
then complain her voice would make anyone tire.

But first he had to change the tire.
He pulled off, cussing, to his left,
slamming the door. It was getting late,
and he had only matches with which to light
the ruined tire he had to change.
He kicked the cover, denting it far

into the wheel that would take him so far
but no farther. He cursed the tire
as he made the change,
then roared from where the tire was left
noticed only by his passing light.
He knew he was going to be late,

but flights at night were often late.
The airport wasn't far.
He sped the car through a yellow light.
There was a shimmy in the spare tire
as he swerved before traffic, turning left.
He entered the expressway eagerly for a change.

Soon he would know what had made her change.
If only he wasn't too late.
He'd never be able to admit he'd been left.
How could she take it so far?
He pulled to the terminal, screeching a tire,
and ran for the bright white light.

"But I can change!" he screamed to the far
off flight that wasn't late as it taxied on shadow tires.
He knew he'd been left as he watched the soaring light.

Roxanne Smolen

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The following comments are for "Too Late"
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