The Long Walk
— a poem by Wayne F. Burke

Another MANPOWER job
where they send you out to work
and take half your pay,
only it wasn't a bad job, this one:
mixing paints, putting the cans
into the arms of a machine and
watching the machine jitter like
a belly dancer...

At four I left and started to hitch hike
but could not get a ride
and all the drivers looked smug,
like bastards, laughing at me,
and I thought "fuck you assholes, I will walk!"
and I started to walk with my back to traffic
going past at sixty,
the bastards!

I was pissed: even if a car stopped I would not get in.
I marched like one of Caesar's soldiers going to meet the Gauls,
sweating out my ass;
it was hot, hazy, no breeze;
people on the sidewalk moved out of my way--

I must not have looked normal.
I was not normal.
I was pissed.
I walked twelve miles back to the place.
A girl who lived in the apartment asked me
how I got back and I said: "I walked."
She was screwing a black guy from Detroit
who smoked pot and did not talk.
Me, I wasn't screwing anyone
except myself.

The Poet: Wayne Burke's work has appeared in FORGE, miller's pond, and Northeast Corridor. He was poet-of-the-month in Bareback, 7-13.

The Artist:  Eleanor Leonne Bennett is an internationally award winning photographer and artist who has won first places with National Geographic, The World Photography Organisation, Nature's Best Photography, Papworth Trust, Mencap, The Woodland trust and Postal Heritage. Her photography has been published in the Telegraph , The Guardian, BBC News Website and on the cover of books and magazines in the United states and Canada. Her art is globally exhibited , having shown work in London, Paris, Indonesia, Los Angeles,Florida, Washington, Scotland,Wales, Ireland,Canada,Spain,Germany, Japan, Australia and The Environmental Photographer of the year Exhibition (2011) amongst many other locations. She was also the only person from the UK to have her work displayed in the National Geographic and Airbus run See The Bigger Picture global exhibition tour with the United Nations International Year Of Biodiversity 2010.