July 3

I spent my teens watching though a looking glass,
but not like a stalker or a voyeur, peeking through the shutters.
Because the people with experiences, and hate and lust,
always needed an audience.
Even a mirror eye, glazed and shining.
Maybe non-judgmental
but still always watching.

I worked at Denny’s in my late teens.
I’d been a fortunate one.
I was only a temporary fixture.
I’d graduated, I could read and I could write.
Not to say the others were illiterate
but only that everyone had told them they were.

The men I worked with were fathers,
or if they weren’t they were soon to be.
None of them were married and even fewer
were faithful.

But even if they didn’t love the mother
they loved the child.
However if love were currency
the sentiment would mean more.

They worked and they drank
and then they worked while they buzzed.

I’d drive them home.
I could fit four prone people side by side
in the bed of my truck, but only myself
and one other in the front.

I’d drive them to places
where I’d never get out of the truck,
to the black places between the cracks
in the canyons.

But that was where they lived
and they had to get home to feed their babies.

[Cont on July 9]


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