Day 301: Late!

Matt Zurbo


This day, like most days,
Lindy Loo was running late.
Sliding just to get through
the closing of her gate.
(Girl sliding into the street, past parent closing gate, backpack trailing behind, homework in the air.)

Once again Lindy,
homework only half done,
found she’d missed her bus,
so had to run, run, run!
(Girl back to us, shocked, paper in the air, bus pulling away.)

No time to chase her lift,
it was much too fast,
little Lindy Loo had to
take the straightest path.
(Bus receding, girl, determined, running to the right.)

For on the other side,
of Lindy’s rather large block,
was the very last chance,
of the final bus stop.
(Girl charging nearest fence, we can make out over it cluster of backyards, and a bus top past them.)

(From here on, all images involve the Girl running left to right.)

First, she finished her math,
while jumping the nearest fence.
Every second counting,
things were really tense.
(Leaping over fence, biting tongue while writing maths on paper, a lot of it in air.)

Lindy landed on a trampoline,
bouncing up from there,
getting spelling done,
while flying through the air.
(Girl is bouncing forward, up-side down, writing – gothic house owners, one startled, the other shouting at her.)

Pushing through seagulls,
running from angry dogs,
without veering off her line,
over bbqs and logs.
(Scampering over fat man and his breakfast bbq about to land on his wood pile, scattering seagulls, chased by dog, first neighbours shouting over their fence.)

Wadding through a pond,
Lindy caught a frog quite loud,
for her science project,
as onward she ploughed.
(Jumping/stomping into pond, catching frog in jar, bbq man, and first neighbours, squished as they are climbing over fence after her, dogs leaping, seagulls everywhere, paper/homework scattered.)

A witches hat and broom,
Lindy Loo’s costume was complete,
for the school play,
she looked a real treat!
(Girl writing on paper in air, tucking frog jar into backpack, while falling forward, into big, black t-shirt on clothes line in road worker back yard, with orange traffic cone for witch’s hat, and broom tucked under her arm. Previous neighbours and bbq man collapsing fence with their weight, falling. Road worker looking shocked at them. Dogs and seagulls still in pursuit.)

Seagulls still on her tail,
she found breakfast to eat!
Run, girl! Run, run, run!
Climb, jump, watch your feet!
(Girl, dressed in traffic cone and black-t-shirt, backpack protruding, homework and broom under arm, other paper in air. She is snatching egg and bacon roll from startled chef in dressing gown, while riding dog that is leaping off table, shooing away dozens of seagulls, road worker arguing with previous neighbours while first, red-faced, staggers on, frog jumping free, off seagull’s head, towards other seagull’s open mouth.)

Do your ABCs,
your times tables one-to-ten!
For your fine art class,
use an ostrich pen!
(Doing drawing one of several startled chooks using an ostrich pen, while riding baby’s tricycle along top of clothesline, (or using pogo stick – up to artist). Dog behind her clinging to clothesline, everybody else fighting each other or chasing her. Frog clutching her for safety from seagulls.)

“Don’t mind me!” “Look out!”
and “Woh, hey, coming through!”
“Sorry salty old grandpa,
in his outhouse doing poo!
(Girl is squeezing out of outhouse window, with peg on nose and frog, as everyone else rushes towards its open door, startled old man sitting inside, reading newspaper. His cat startled, too, now being chased by dogs. Chooks carrying on everywhere. Some fighting seagulls.)

‘”I know, I know, I know!
I should more often look at the clock!”
Lindy Loo admitted,
as the whole block went off!
(Girl is climbing from flagpole to tree house, lots of angry hands and leaping dogs, barking beneath her at cat, wrapped around her leg, swiping at dogs. Seagulls eating the fruit in tree, house owner, Greek lady, shooing them with a hose. Chooks everywhere still. One laying an egg.)

Only the wrestler smiled,
while relaxing above the crowd,
admiring someone so hopeless,
it almost made him proud.
(Girl leaping from swing, writing homework, paper and gulls everywhere, sandwich stuffed in her mouth, frog on chook, on girl’s head, jar in hand, finished homework under arm, as Greek lady hoses people chasing her, who are fighting amongst themselves, while cat leaps aggressively at startled dogs. And other chooks go back to pecking for food. Wrestler, in costume, laying back on banana lounge on roof clothesline patio. He is smiling, while watching, eating.)

“Never be dull!” he called,
as Lindy Loo bolted for the street,
“Be as messy as you can,
just make sure your homework’s neat.”
(Wrestler calling as Girl jumps last fence. Wrestler is calling to her over his shoulder, but, huge and fat, he is standing in the way of all the others who are crashing into him. Only a trail of paper and a few seagulls, and a chook, are close to Girl.)

Dotting her ‘T’s, crossing her ‘I’s
Lindy Loo called “Will do…!”,
while leaping for the bus,
as it lurched towards school.
(Girl doing vertical leap for closing bus door, still writing homework, seagulls bouncing off bus windows, cat running away, chooks here and there.)

Still much homework to do,
Lindy didn’t miss a beat,
leaving behind the most beautiful
chaos on her street.
(Tail end of bus, girl inside, traffic cone on head, face down, doing homework, paper flapping around her. Behind bus, everyone and thing that was chasing her has fallen through collapsed fence, on the ground Wrestler is helping someone up while waving good-bye to girl, Greek lady is shouting, hosing him. Seagulls have stopped flying. Dog is sitting on bbq man’s belly, scratching itself.)

By the time her bus reached school,
Lindy Loo was fast asleep,
Her homework done, on the run,
the world at her feet.
(Girl, sleeping on bus, totally dis-shelved, but homework in neat piles beside her, frog in labelled jar with holes in its lid, being shouted at to wake up by bus driver.)

(Girl, long t-shirt and backpack on, homework neat under arm, traffic cone on head, broom under arm, whistling as she walks. Just one or two pieces of paper in air behind her.)

The End

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