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Sunday, January 16, 2011

the trolley

one needs to come
on a mild and clear morning
and sit
at the trolley platform
and observe

take in as much as you can
feel the warmth
of midmorning california
and the light sensual breeze
against your cheeks
feel it lightly tickle your arms

close your eyes
and hear the sounds
the sploosh of the bus driver
setting her air brakes
the deep powerful rumble
of the passenger jet
shooting skyward

hear the joy in the voice
of the old man
as he greets his friend
in spanish
and shakes his hand
something about menudo
then points toward
the delicious aroma
of old town

hear the hum of the trolley
as it sits at the station
like a vacuum cleaner
rolling over the carpet
at home
a honk of its buzzer
alerting passengers
it is leaving soon

there is a change of moods
each time one arrives
and each time it goes
such an air of excitement
especially when there is one
on each track
then quickly it's peaceful and lonely
when they leave

you can see it in the people
who wait on the benches
alert and alive one moment
then sullen and quiet
when they've gone
over and over and over

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

next tuesday

good material
she says
when i dropped off the new shirts
and three pairs of pants
well-made, good weave
almost a shame to cut it
she says

an asian face
about my age
soft, wrinkleless
but work-worn
serious, she studies the work
of the factory worker
where perhaps
she worked before

every move she makes
as she pulls a sleeve down
rolls a cuff up
or runs the cloth tape
down my arm
and up my leg
is the graceful hand
of a true artisan
bent on making
a perfect fit

will be done next tuesday
she says
pay me when you pick them up
handing me the ticket
the first smile
spreads across her face

but i think of her now
as she clips my sleeves
straightens the material
lines it all up perfectly
then feeds it through

as she pumps the
worn and dirty black rubber
on the old metal treadle
with her foot
that makes the needle bob
as slow and steady as she likes

i’ll write the check
without a thought
of whether or not
the price is reasonable
it will fit just right
when i’m back in her shop
next tuesday