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  • Keith Banner

Those Stories

he chewed tobacco

in his la-z-boy

this bronze spittoon


was on the right hand

side of it

on the floor


he'd pick it up

and spit out brown

juice into it


watching

guiding light

there was a smell


from that spittoon

in the air

not nasty really


kind of

like old pulled weeds

that smell they give off


and him chawing down on that shit

but quietly

horn-rimmed glasses


and gray-green

work clothes

a big wad in his cheek


strange pleasure

and

some nurse crying


on tv

he always told me

about the timbering he did


about driving the

bread

truck in winter before that


always ate 2 breakfasts

one real early like

4 am, cereal and toast, and then


a walk around

the property outside, made-up

chores of some kind


still dark out

and then around 7:30

or 8 a bigger breakfast


eggs country ham

biscuits

the works


her strolling around

the kitchen

making it all


bitching about

this and that

big lady but


somehow

always in motion

always getting something


done

that one story about the bobcat

when he was timbering


and she always

corrected him

just an old tomcat gone


feral

and she was always

talking about how


that little store down in the valley

would never make it

because the owner was so


hateful

as the world turns too

he loved that one


he would spit that

tobacco juice out

hung up on every word and scene


at supper

he'd tell me about how this one doctor

on that show


really was a nice man

but those others ones

weren't -- he saved that one girl's life, he'd say


and she'd be doling out

potato chips

or whatever


never sitting down

pimento-chesse sandwiches

with sliced tomatoes


and she'd say

real mean but kind of sweet

those stories


you love

rotting your brain

don't you?



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