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  • Starbucks at the corner
    of University and Glen
    Traffic flowing steadily,
    shoppers, lawyers, dentists,
    on the lunch hour
    the city pauses
    Chili's lot a sea
    of cars, people
    come and go, to and fro,
    they rush about their day
    miss the ornamental grasses
    and miniature trees
    diagonally spaced
    across the intersection
    for the oaks and elms
    and lindens in the background
    beneath the lightly shaded blues
    interspersed by fluffy cotton clouds
    drifting by their
    movements almost imperceptible
    to the naked eye
    it takes time to realize
    beneath the umbrella
    across the table
    where my pen jots and scribbles
    in this black bound journal
    next to my tin
    of hand rolled cigarettes
    and my borrowed copy
    of Jack Reacher my coffee cup
    now empty a last indulgence
    of the birthday money I received
    when I turned 61 16 days ago
    the electronic and electric
    billboards one flashing
    one turning in precise waves
    horns and sirens and the roar
    of motorcycles
    interrupt the traffic sounds
    as I relight a cigarette
    and wonder if the day is lost
    or the poem I am composing
    is going nowhere, like the novel
    stalled in my word processor
    on chapter three, or the notes
    on Colossians that stall after the third line.

    Time to go, time to return
    to puncture sweet potato skin
    and season chicken breasts
    and slice cabbage, onion, bell pepper,
    carrots, turnips for a slaw,
    time to let Olivia outside to check her lawn
    and give her treats and love and pets
    to let her know I did not abandon her,
    time to check the mail...

    Episode 22,271 in a series
    of unknown duration,
    scheduled to continue
    on the network known as life.

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