The sign inside Finnigan’s
said: MIND YOUR CHILDREN.
Hers were running wild
down aisles between the card
"You're it, you're it."
"No I'm not.”
“You are. You are."
while she considered Father's Day
messages by Hallmark.
The youngest clinging to her filthy,
CHOOSE LIFE t‑shirt.
"Daddy's gonna really love this special
card, huh, Ma?"
"He will if he survives the dinner
we left him."
"What was that, Ma?"
"Nothing. Come on, you son's of a bitches,
it's time to motor," she yells,
"Form a line like right now or there's
gonna be some sore butts tonight.
And I don't want to have to say it twice."
Judging by the look in the kid’s eyes,
and how they formed a line, she never
had to say anything twice.
Facts of Life on the Route 55 Bus
It was old home week
in the back of the bus.
Her friend felt she looked
like she was putting on
a lot of weight.
“It started a couple of months ago.
This guy I know, like invited up
this friend of his, and we doubled.
Had us a few drinks and
a couple of laughs and pretty soon
he's coming up weekends
and we're hanging out pretty
regular, until I notice I'm getting
real fat all of a sudden.
Scary, isn't it?"
"What happened to the guy?"
"Beats me. All of a sudden
I don't hear nothing from him
and they tell me his phone's
I tell you this whole business is
a pain in the ass. I'm so damned
uncomfortable and pretty soon
none of my clothes are going
to fit unless something happens."
"Don't you know what this is all about?"
Her friend asks,
"Don't you know what's going on?"
"I'd like to know what happened to
Mr. Big City. He was coming on all
lovey dovey and now this.
Owes me a couple of yards
and an explanation. I expect
I'll hear from him again soon as
he gets good and lonely.
God, I can’t stand myself.
I feel like a freak.
This happened once before
to me. I can't wait 'til it’s over."
Maybe the street lights were
bothering his eyes or there was
some kind of strange lunar eclipse
the rest of the world wasn't aware of.
There had to be some explanation
for a guy wandering around Albany
in the dead of the night wearing aviator
style sun glasses asking,
"What's your cheapest beer?"
with a peculiar smile that suggested
he was on a budget tour from Alpha Centuri.
Stood there sipping Matt's Premium Beer,
resplendent in an interesting clash of
soiled polyesters, the frayed edges of
his t‑shirt hanging out at the waist,
yellow balled paper napkins stuffed
in the hollows of his raincoat sleeves.
"Nice hat." I commented.
It was a canvas rain job, brand new and it
might have fit him when he changed body
types and became The Magnificent Hulk.
"Matt's." He said, sliding the empty beer glass
across the bar with his exact change.
At least, he was having a good time,
smiling up a storm watching a cable movie
that came in over budget at two thousand
dollars, carrying on a running conversation
with himself, pausing to smile at the punch
lines, idly spinning the glass ashtray
on the wood, turning abruptly:
"Do you take checks?" he asks the back
No one answers.
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