Short Stack

We’re in the mood for pancakes,
polite servers with southern accents like syrup.
They butter, sir and ma’am us
and charge for the pleasure.

We cross Kings to a small park
free of seasonal tourists, full of permanent ones:
a woman with a pink suitcase
laughing and bouncing by herself;
a couple passed out together on a bench swing,
as if their shared demons melted in the morning sun.

Two men stand on the City of ________ platform
like fellow commuters, waiting to catch the same train.
A security guard walks the pavilion in easy cadence.
He says hello to us as he passes by.
We hello back, mid-swing, like these are our people
and we have always been here.

The sleeping couple shifts, the man grabs
the backpack between them, walks a few steps,
drops down to the green grass. “So soft, so soft…”
The woman stirs, looks over her prostrate partner
at us for a moment, then sinks back into her eyes,
flops onto her back, her face to the sky.

We cross the street, back to the world
of ten-dollar flip-flops, gas stations
and going places.


Manic Monday Challenge: ‘In The Mood’ — Glenn Miller Orchestra

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