Wednesday, September 24, 2008

complaint dept

as the doors open
and the folks begin
to take numbers and line up,
he wanders around
kneeling to put a smile
on a cranky child's face;
soothing a mother worried
about catching the bus for work;
leaning over to hear
the frustrated grandfather
on his fifth visit this week.

as the crowd spills out the door,
the metal-shuttered window
flies up with a bang
and the baggy-eyed woman
who has been running
the department forever
(will she ever retire?)
leans her leathery elbows
on the scarred counter
and calls out 'number 1!'
she listens to each one,
and whispers (at the end)
to each to go around the corner . . .

. . . where they find a kiosk
carved from stone
where the perky, young
attendant smiles
and hands out a drink
of crystal clear water,
'here! this is what you've
been looking for all along!'

(c) 2008 Thom M. Shuman

No comments: