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  • Lunch at Jerry’s

    Thin and older now
    A cane crutches his
    Leg-- the left one mostly

    His 60’s smile rests
    For a minute; a scarf
    Hiding his pain
    Triangular side burns
    Speckled in grey
    Slant toward his chin

    “Great Lakes boot camp”
    He recalls
    The buddy system
    Thought to be a good choice-
    His sold out

    Winter in the windy city
    “Our laundry
    Froze solid”
    My chair creeks
    I readjust

    Vietnam, Morse code
    Wrinkled memories unfold
    The entree speaks
    A bit about drugs
    And ships and planes

    Limping, he returns
    To the sudden death
    Of his sister at sixteen
    “She died outside our home”

    I prompt him
    Closing the menu
    Jerry whispers,
    “My dad was never the same”
    I’ll pass on desert
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