Mar 132014

by Karol Wasylyshyn


I’m struck by the sight of him…red apron and

slicked hair same color as his white shirt neatly tucked

but pulling across the chest as he tries to get his aching knees

to cooperate—bending slooooowly, soooo sloooowly—

to reach a bottom shelf there at the Office Depot.

I hear him speaking proper English, patient and well-modulated

even cheerful alongside his sullen manager who’s directing him—

manager with wayward hair dripping down his back as a tail

and a snake tattoo slithering up his arm to the jawline.

Just as I start sinking into my melancholy version of this senior’s past,

he’s laughing and slapping his friend Ralphie on the shoulder;

they’re talking about the Phillies and how it’s better to be out

than in the house anymore—especially since the wife…

well, you know; and they keep man-laughing and head-shaking

and holding just the right physical distance as they part with him

tapping Ralphie’s arm, winking, and saying, “I still got some juice left.”