Friday, November 30, 2012

gas station attendant

artwork: ralph murre

gas station attendant
by Irene Koronas

“it takes discipline,” he confesses

his side stare
hesitant to give too much information
about ways to win at the horse track

movie star handsome
he pumps gas when not betting at the kentucky derby
or whatever track remains open
horses or dogs who run for sport

father was more handsome than most men
mother close to the ground, boxy skirts uniform her

every weekend coins clicked on dining room table

charley fiddled, freddie his brother sang
angie worked in the shoe factory with mother
harry policed our town
stuie loved older women
joe married my aunt when tony died
poker players coin our days, the pot often won with 2 pairs

father slapped cards hard, for him lose
always came. he lost more than most men

week days, father played cards in his cobbler shop

mother works 8 to 5, factory noise punctures her ear drum

a long corridor led to the toilet in the back of his shop

on wednesday father went to wonder land horse track

I sat across from a long mirror, watching myself grow
listening to rhythm and blues on his radio
the twang of desert boots, not tall enough for american boys
my hand reaches quarters in cash register when left alone

the handsome gas station attendant hands me my change

~ first published in Wilderness House Literary Review