Saturday, February 04, 2006


Another slack-jawed mouth breather
thick-lensed glasses sliding
down the bridge of his nose
stands in the express lane.

Greasy, wilted curls twist
about a crown of eczema.
He scratches behind his ear
sets the basket on the counter.

Skin looks like it did
seventeen years ago in tenth grade
pimpled and oily, sparse beard
more broken vessels, blotched and cracked.

He reaches into K-Mart jeans
pulls a sheaf of ones
to pay for Flintstone vitamins,
apple juice and a neon yo-yo.

Drops his eight cents change
into his shirt pocket to mingle
with a broken roll of Tums
a handkerchief and some lint.

Some time later he walks
into a house to shrieks and giggles
lithe arms encircle his head
a voice calls him "Daddy."

W D Burns
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