Friday, February 28, 2014

The Corner Drug Store

Candy wrappers blown up against
   the chain-link fence
outside the small store on the corner
It was many things to many people,
to my mother it was a pharmacy
   dispensing little gray pills
To children it was a candy store
a display case, its glass window
sloping away as if recoiling
from small sticky fingers pointing
at a roll of paper covered in colored
   candy spots or
wax figurines of dogs and horses
who dared you to bite their heads off
just to get to the sweet colored juices inside,
soon discarded out on the sidewalk
black spots of wax melting in the sun
a cemetery of headless juiceless animals
Then there was the marble-topped
   soda fountain with its spinning stools and
spigots of foaming water and green river sodas
I would slap down my quarter
the price of a hot fudge sundae
two scoops of vanilla ice cream
covered with thick steaming chocolate
   with a cherry on top
my mother’s never ending supply of quarters
transformed a skinny kid into a fat one
of course hormones had nothing to do with that
those hormones did turn my head away from
   sodas and sundaes
to the rack of paperbacks with lurid covers
they were called pocket-books
indeed some did find their way into
   my pocket or under my shirt
my first venture into theft
my expedition into the mysteries
of adults who seemed to be interested
in things other than candy.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Frozen in Time

we are frozen in time
and can only imagine the future
the past only a memory
like the face stone on Mars
we are just here
the walls of our mind display
images that are so, so vivid
then the projector clicks and
a new scene unfolds
like some bad science fiction novel
we are trapped
and can only imagine a way out
while we wait until it’s time to leave