Still, Life by Peter Lautz

Ceri Shaw
02/17/19 02:27:26AM
568 posts

Bent over, he’s reeling like a has-been

Southern sheriff and wobbles into Wal-Mart

"for just a couple things" on a gray Monday

afternoon past the dented cars, crushed cups

and homeless shopping carts left for dead

on the outskirts of the mall.

The air, sticky as wet flour, bruised

peaches leak onto his hands.

He shuffles past tenements of papaya stacked

next to purple plums hard as stone.

This still life reflects back at the old man

making his way through onions and rhubarb

and chard and on toward the gallon of whole milk

and, later, four jars of Metamucil before unfolding

ancient paper sacks at the cash register.

Outside behind the steering wheel of my parked car

I wait for dad and write down these lines searching

for some story to tell of shared life, of our love really,

before the wordless drive home, before the slow

veer up the concrete stairs.

updated by @ceri-shaw: 02/17/19 02:30:22AM