“American Service”: A Poem

 

 

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This is a poem I wrote nearly twenty years ago. It was relevant then, and it’s relevant now (except for one thing that probably doesn’t exist anymore). I don’t know why I chose this piece as the first bit of poetry to post here; there are others I’ll admit to loving more. Maybe I didn’t want to start off in darkness on the heels of the horror story. Maybe other poems share too much; I think poetry is inherently more revealing of one’s soul than fiction. Or maybe this is just what I’m feeling today.

 

 


 

American Service

 

One moment, please.

          That is all she says

          as an endless stream ensues.

Sonic boom, jet aircraft.

Each claim importance

but really they are all

          One and the Same.

In scrub whites and candy shoes

and navy vests with golden wings.

          With steak and shrimp

          and cowboy hats

one Voice disturbingly echoes.

Swinging doors and drive-up windows

are only one single place.

At the other end, somewhere,

          a person waits.

The bus is loading, the window shuts–

Ice cream trucks and books-on-wheels.

          Every facet, every face.

Count your numbers, dollar for dollar.

          One moment, please.

          You’re next.

 

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