Hatless in Defiance

I cried when Corky
wouldn’t take my check.
He saw right away
what an asshole he was being
and pulled a Budweiser
out of the safe.
“There,” he said.
Or maybe it was “Here.”

I’d done the right thing
even though at first I was embarrassed.
I thought my Beetle would be ready
when I came back to Defiance
on the bus.
Couldn’t he see I was honest
with his own eyes?

Everybody in northern Ohio seemed to be
really pissed off all the time–
the statey, the tow-truck driver,
even the guy at the motel.
He kept the hat I left in the closet,
the one I made myself,
all different color suede.

 

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