storekeeper

Gruff old gnome
sitting on the small chair
in the entry way to his hardware store

Christ, Eddie, did you see the tree
blew down up the street by the bank
got her cleaned up by noon
took half the works department acourse

His left eye is puffy
perhaps with age
or pinkeye
or a skin ulcer
one of those diseases people
don’t get any more

What can I do you for

He starts a squeaky deep laugh
that quicky turns to a cough
and he cones his fist over it
and turns to the street
until it passes

Inside
the store is jammed
jammed with tiny things
with handles
and without:
awls
buckets
can openers
dishes
egg cups
funnels
garbage cans
hacksaws
igniters
jack knives
kettles
locks
mattocks
nails
oarlocks
pry bars
quart sealers
rakes
saws
tressles
utility knives
valves
watering cans
X-acto knives
Yo-yos
zippers

So you got any change
I’ll hafta go the the bank
to break
anything bigger than a ten
you got change
good
taxes’ll break a small
business you know
one of the reasons
I’m retiring
spend some time
with the missus
yep
nobody wants this old store
close her down
end of the month
and twenty-four cents change
I don’t say haveaniceday
the way those smiley clerks do
in the big stores
can’t afford it
good day come again

He goes back to his chair and watches me
walk away
down the street

See if they’s still any sawdust there

he shouts after me

He starts a squeaky deep laugh
that quicky turns to a cough
and he cones his fist over it
and turns to the street
until it passes.

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About riverwriter

Poet, playwright, duplicate bridge player, website designer, cottager, husband, father, grandfather, former athlete, carpenter, computer helper for my friends, theatre designer, backstage polymath, retired teacher of highschool English, drama, art, a baritone singer in a barbershop quartet, who knows what else? wordcurrents is on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wordcurrents/ Doug also has a Facebook page, "Incognitio", related to his novels.
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