Keith Gaboury

Age Education

My Mom educated me over the phone on Mother’s Day that I’m 33 years old. I believed her. I figured I forgot to switch my cognitive clock during last month’s birthday grooves. Alas, I went around informing all conscious creatures my newfound knowledge.

 

I slipped a note to a Union Square security guard: I’m 33 years old. How old are you? I have a trained poet’s ear. I then hooked over to the Tenderloin and bought a man, popping a white pill on Taylor Street, a hamburger because his twenty-something flesh needed some cow and lettuce. A 33-year-old can make that determination. After I ran down a bus to Golden Gate Park, I screamed my age at a pile of bison shit roasting like a hot dog under that July sun. The shit shrugged her shoulders. So what? You better watch out for those horns charging your way.

 

Yet this morning over honey nut cheerios, I did the math: I’m really 32. Why did I believe my Mom? Well she came up through the singular vetting program of ushering my presence into existence. Granted her laborious pushing happened over three decades ago over at Alta Bates. She’s bound to forget as a 63 — wait no — 64-year-old woman. I called her up. When her voicemail beeped, I Love You was all I could say.

 

Keith Mark Gaboury earned a M.F.A. in creative writing from Emerson College. His poems have appeared in such publications as Poetry Quarterly, New Millennium Writings, and on the podcast Who Do You Think You Are? Keith is a poet and preschool teacher in San Francisco, California.