Poem A Day – December 2nd

Randy Applegate

By Jackie Fedyk

From the prompt “lost hubcaps” suggested by Jason Sharp

Randy Applegate

Randy Applegate was a kid on my block

He was born with down syndrome and rarely ever talked

If you were to ask me I’d have to say that Randy was a genius

I noticed he did some amazing things and here’s a little list:

After an afternoon of watching Break’n one and two

Randy Applegate brought a piece of cardboard to the black top at school

That was the day he became a break dancing pro

He performed with perfection the worm, a headspin and the electric gigolo

Randy loved to eat popsicles and he was full of cleaver tricks

He built a fence in his front yard five feet high made Popsicle sticks

Once you saw that colorful fence you’d think you’d seen it all

But in the woods behind Randy Applegate’s back yard was a structure that stood more than ten feet tall

You see Randy’s old man was a mechanic

And cars had always put Randy in a panic

He collected match box cars

The largest compilation I’ve seen so far

Thousands of them were displayed on shelves that embraced his entire room

And Randy slept in a race car bed that he named Mr. Vroom

I remember a time when a mystery swept our suburban neighborhood

There was talk of a conspiracy, talk of someone up no good

Items were coming up missing everywhere if you can believe that

All the items were one in the same, somebody was stealing hubcaps

The first one on the block to notice was old Mr. Wisner

Somebody had taken the hubcaps off his wife’s 1968 Chrysler

Then came complaints from Scotty Romero

The hubcaps were gone from his yellow Cameo

More and more hubcaps were missing and people were freak’n

They even disappeared from Johnny the Knifes custom luxury Lincoln

I was up early one morning just by a chance of fate

I went for a sunrise walk and found Randy Applegate

He had some tools with him and I saw him loosen some bolts

He pulled the hubcaps off my father’s Oldsmobile

And ran off to his folks’

I followed Randy into the woods behind his house

I was careful, quiet and as invisible as a mouse

What I saw there could hardly be believed

An intricate sculpture that only a mind like Randy’s could conceive

Contrived and connected through bolts and holes

Puzzled and structured in perfect rows

Was a sight that had to be seen to be believed

Randy Applegate had built a giant hubcap tree

Randy never knew I was there and I suppose he may never know

But I returned once a week to watch that tree grow

In the neighborhood on 7th and Grover all the hubcaps had been burgled

So Randy moved his racket two blocks over

Until one day the hijacks diminished

Hubcaps in town appeared to be safe

And I knew that Randy had finished

So I packed a sack with sandwiches for lunch

Fall leaves turned to powder under my feet with a crunch

I went to Randy Applegate’s favorite place to be

And found him basking in the glory of his hubcap tree

A thick chrome trunk for a base with the town’s wheeled jewels

Held together with nuts and bolts and tightened with tools

The branches fanned out, reached upward and bowed

I took a seat next to Randy on the cold morning ground

Boy was he proud

I gave him a sandwich and marveled in the glory

Of his amazing hubcap tree that was over three stories

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