Sunday, August 21, 2005

Change for a dollar

Most of the change from the dollar
For the newspaper falls to the floor,
It’s all you can do not swear and smile instead
As the cashier with the greased fingertips
Widens her eyes, eyebrows pitching in
An A frame of worry,

A tiny smile on her face trembling as
She fights back the fear, her mouth
Shrinking to an ‘o’ of ‘oh my”, she giggles, she sobs,
Everyone stares past the candy bars and magazines
To see who made their angel cry,

Oh my back creaks like
A door on a corroded hinge,
My knees crack when I bend,
Snapping twigs are what
People remember for

Every penny is flat at your feet
And red faced as you stare hard
At several Lincoln copper tone beard
Tarnishing under the fluorescent light,
Round taunts lying on two tone tile,

You smile at her, you bend over,
Knees make the sound of snapping twigs,

Oh my goddamned back

Every dime, quarter and nickel
Has rolled under the counter,
Out of sight, having scurried
To some dusty corner
The janitor’s mop couldn’t reach,

I’m making the sounds my father made

And you swear you see him as you stoop
Walking out of an elevator and out the street,
Wearing a nice suit and fine hat from fifty years ago,

Around the time you were born
When all this wear and tear began.

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