Friday, January 15, 2016

Charles Rammelkamp- A Poem

Have You Ever Robbed a Liquor Store?

I couldn’t help eavesdropping
on the pair sitting behind me
on the public transportation bus,
no longer able to concentrate
on the crossword with which
I’d been trying to kill the time going home.
My ears pricked up like antennae,
and just like an itch on the nose
you can’t keep your finger from scratching,
it was all I could do
to stop myself from turning my head.
Even a casual glance’d give me away,
my self-conscious curiosity
a  sign around my neck.

“Jordy’s in for five to ten,”
one of the voices observed.

How I longed to check them out,
envisioning three-day chin stubble,
missing teeth, gaudy tattoos,
jackets with gang logos, nihilist slogans.

Finally, my stop approaching,
I yanked the bell-chain to get off,
turned, but a casual sweep of the head
took in two elderly women in raincoats.
How could those voices have evaporated?
Had I just imagined the whole thing?

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