Catch 22 2013
Wearing a Cubs hat and a bowling shirt,
baggy Dockers and blue tennis shoes,
a middle-aged man slumps out of loud,
pattering rain and sits heavily
on a concrete slab bench
in front of the library, cell phone to his ear.
“I been waiting for the unemployment
check so I can start looking again.
Takes gas to do interviews, you know,
and downtown parking isn’t free.”
—there is a pause in the conversation—
“Been trying to catch up on some bills
and save a little money to pay taxes.
I’ll do what I can, but cut me a little slack.”
Snaps the phone shut,
suppresses a primal scream,
stretches his back and gets up
to go somewhere else in the rain,
a folded newspaper
sticking from his back pocket
and rain dripping from the
bill of his cap.
Ed kicks at, and misses, a soggy cardboard
coffee cup at the edge of the sidewalk.
Brief Bio: Gene McCormick's poems have been published internationally and have been converted to music and performed professionally. His latest, of twelve, books is An Ice Axe At Dusk (March Street Press, 2011). He is narrow-minded enough to think that the only good snake is a Dead Snake.