November 26, 2009

memorial day at the twisted parrot

by Justin Hyde

guy on my right
is down on himself

couldn't get cash together
to make it up to minnesota

says he goes every year
mows and pulls weeds
around his grandparent's graves.

i buy him a cuervo
tell him
don't be so hard on yourself
you'll get up there when you can
they'd understand.

yeah - - yeah
they probably would understand,
he says
perking up suddenly
buys me a cuervo
pats me on the back.

he gets up to piss

i notice his right leg
is half size of the other
and bent like a wish-bone
at the knee.

where's your shoe rick?
i ask
when he comes back
helping him up onto the

it's missing off the foot
on his
withered right leg.

he stares down at it
a good three minutes

rubs his temples

then buries himself
in his elbow.

tells me
nothing's gone right
since he lost his job
selling pots and pans
door to door
back in seventy-nine.


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