Thursday, November 7, 2013

A Town Called Fate (Three Men)

A Town Called Fate (Three Men)

1932
His suit is black, rain-soaked,
two sizes too big and
he ducks into the Smoke Shoppe to order
a dozen cigars in an old, scratched
wooden box for just that much.
He fishes in his pocket
for the gold ring.
It’s all he has left
and he pulls it out like a diver
coming up for air.
He crosses the bridge with the box
and tells himself
he’s going to California
to see his father.

1944
He is hauling boxes from the basement
when the white man says,
“I want you to work for me.
You’re a damn fine carpenter.
I’ve seen your work.
I’ll pay you $1.50.”
His boss can’t top that so he
drops the boxes and leaves with
the white man.

1969
He’s in the kitchen
trying to make breakfast
but he keeps remembering
when he stood in the middle
of a rice field
and picked up an arm
covered with freckles.
He knew every inch of
Rick’s body.
Everything around him was
exploding
and arms reached out
from the helicopter,
hands,
blue gloves came at him,
picked him up
and now the kitchen is
exploding,
he sees blue gloves
coming up from the toaster
and the sink, he feels like
he’s flying from
the stove,
over the refrigerator,
and blue gloves,
Lord,
blue gloves
everywhere.

©JEF 1987

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