Citizen Cane

Cane as baton, wand

This was the view from my bicycle seat as I came up on 121 Ave at 116 St this afternoon. The man with the cane had just used it as a baton to signal the driver of the left-turning automobile that it should flow across his path, leaving free his line to the opposite curb.

The van driver complied and combusted by me and out of view. The cane, it turned out, was also a wand.

Cane as arm and hand

The man took a step off the curb and started walking with a slow, jerky rhythm across the avenue. The snowflakes were so light they twirled up with the wind, seeming never to hit the pavement. The man turned his head to me. I said hello. He nodded and underlined his wordless greeting by lifting his left arm and waving the cane in my direction. The cane, it turned out, was also a kind of prosthetic and punctuation device.

Cane as support

Then the man again anchored the cane on the pavement and resumed his trip to the other side. One, two, three, one, two three. The cane, it turned out, was also a kind of accompaniment.


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