Saturday, November 27, 2010


Untwisting the wrapper he grabbed a stack
of bread, dealt slices like cards onto napkins
laid across the dash of his truck. We pulled packets
of ketchup, mustard, relish, mayonnaise from our
pockets, mounded them up by the windshield.

Each man reached into the pile, ripped them open
with their teeth, squeezed, spread, threw empties
in one motion saturating the bread with free
condiments he told us to load up on from the 7-11.

He slapped a thick slice of baloney onto the bread,
told us to eat up, we acted shy, because we hadn’t paid.
"I know you ain’t got no money, but we got lots of work
to get done, you boys’ll be worthless on empty stomachs.
I’m planning to get plenty of work out of the both of yous".

He splashed generic lemonade into courtesy cups,
gulped one down, asked us how's it tasting, and shared one
of his many Viet Nam sayings as he disengaged the brake-
“everyday’s a holiday and every lunch meal is a banquet”

He pushed the engine button, switched on the radio,
we still stuffed our faces full of white bread and ketchup
as he turned the big truck wheel and drove onto 295 North
and put it in the wind. I can still hear him singing along
with the refrain of an old Guess Who song as he shifted gears-

“on my way to better things- got myself some wings- distant roads are calling me”

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