Friday, February 26, 2010

lady agnes still believes in full serve


lady agnes still believes in full serve

ridin' with my uncle dale to work
was like spending rush hour
with a corpse
each morning he would wave to an old lady
moving among the cars
at jerry's pump and serve
it was the most exciting thing i'd
ever seen him do
who is that?
he'd just waved
and i just wanted to see his lips move
as proof a dead man wasn't driving
lady agnes, son, that there is lady agnes
for the next two weeks the highlight of my day
was my uncle coming to life each morning
after he'd waved
telling me all about the old lady
who always wore checkered flannel
and a red sox cap flipped backwards
a career begun in '96
an ex-husband ran off with their life savings
and a postal worker named jill
back then my uncle was selling
scratch tickets at jerry's pump and serve
for seven dollars an hour
agnes confronted jerry himself
about the shortage of older women pumping gas
two days later she clicked the pumps on
at 6:59 a.m. and hasn't stopped since
if you spend more than $10
agnes will also check your oil,
clean your windshield
and give you a brief summary
of last night's sox game
my uncle dale remembered fondly the day
jerry informed his employees
that the pump and serve would be shifting
two of its pump to self serve
you got no right, jerry,
she'd scolded,
it's your store but it's my life
lady agnes is nearly seventy years old
single and willing to every male customer
under twenty-five
she's kept jerry's a full-serve station
for nearly fifteen years
long enough to find the pulse
in my uncle dale
***originally published in Ghoti Magazine
***********************************************
____________________________
Derek Richards:

After failing miserably as a rock star, Derek Richards began submitting his poetry,
August 2009. Over 130 of his poems have appeared in over seventy publications,
including Lung, Breadcrumb Scabs, MediaVirus, Calliope Nerve, tinfoildresses,
Opium 2.0, Dew on the Kudzu, Sex and Murder, Splash of Red and fourpaperletters.
He has also been told to keep his day job by Quills and Parchment. Nothing annoys
him more than poetry written solely to make someone feel stupid. His ferret, cat
and puppy couldn't agree more. Happily engaged, he resides in Gloucester, MA.,
cleaning windows for a livng.



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