I work part time at a day-care with a retired cop. he sees me scribbling things on loose-leaf and asks what I've got for homework. don, he's new here. the day-care runs until 6:00, so I'm scribbling things till then. I tell Don, when he asks what it is I've got for homework, that I stopped doing homework in the first grade. I tell don, that I'm writing poetry. I tell this retired cop that I want to be a writer. when I grow up, I say, I want to retire an author. don, he laughs. says it's weird for a 17 year old guy to give two shits about something like that. says I should go out for football. or baseball. says I should be out making something of myself. don tells me I should run track. says he never wasted time, never wrote a damned poem in his life. and he tells me to look how he turned out. this retired cop tells me he was homecoming king. this was back when don wrestled varsity senior year. this was before don graduated in the upper half of his class off in police academy. that's right. don, he's shot a gun before. don. he's a funny guy, that don. he laughs and says, "suit yourself." says, "to each his own." don drops the line, "follow your dreams." I dont bother telling him that I stopped dreaming a long time ago. and I leave out the part where I hate cops to begin with. and I never explain why I'm going to call my newest piece, "don." and I figure it's just not worth telling this retired cop working at a day-care, to fuck the hell off.