The Laughing Lover

By Ronald John Vierling

In the small Georgia roadside café,
The young women,
Her ample breasts filling out
Her faded long sleeved tee shirt—
Sun glasses perched atop a baseball cap
So old it obscures its college name—
Leans toward and listens to a
Young man dressed in similar second hand clothes,
The two of them poised over identical meals
Of baked potatoes and chili beans and black coffee—
The young woman listening intently as the
Young man expounds on dreams
That most likely will come to nothing,
But which, in the moment,
Give the young woman cause to believe
Whatever young women are inclined to believe
When circumstances conspire to put them
On the road with a yet another young man who,
Having decided school was not for him,
Must now cobble together enough money
To keep the two of them going
Through one more difficult day
And, with some luck,
Through one more difficult night
In yet another side-street motel,
Where they will trade hard pressed sex
For futures too vague to define—
So that now, as I watch him climb into the
Driver’s side of his badly rusted pick up truck,
And she slides in next to him,
The young woman reaches over and
Puts her left hand on his right shoulder
And laughs the same way
She laughed when he talked to her
In the dim windowed café
On the road that leads somewhere else.

Categories: Issue 5, Poetry | Leave a comment

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