Go-Karts, Bumper Boats, Munchkins, and Such:
Working the Close…
In the midst of the sun,
Over the opaque gasoline lagoon…
A breeding ground
(Despite the .01% water content
of that cess)
For mosquitoes, which are pests
And a magnet
(Despite the heat)
For small children, which are pests.
And the running…
Up the track,
Over the track,
To the boats,
To kiss the toes
Of the anal-retentive manager
All while bathed
In your own sweat
In the sun,
Which once provided a tan
But is now only a pest.
Then, aah, comes the night.
Yes, night, with its
And its only-slightly-lesser boil.
It is bed-time for the munchkins.
The small children dwindle in the twilight
And the Lollipop Guild is replaced
By teenage thrill-seekers, which are pests.
So they drive in circles
And float off to nowhere,
Attempting vehicular manslaughter along the way.
And whine to be allowed to stay
So they can tempt death again
And they run over toes
And purposefully crash into each other
Then cry foul and call
The managers, which are pests.
Finally, they leave.
Their trash and purses and cell phones and trash…
And it is time to close.
Time to refill the gas tanks
(Meanwhile saturate clothes and skin with
And walk the course
(Shoo out the amorous couple
in the cave)
And empty the trash…
Carry the bags of offal
And soda and half-eaten
Burned plastic pizza
Past the bright flood lights,
Several bags at a time to cast a shadow
Like some deranged Santa Claus
Bringing gifts that ooze slime
And drip foul pus
Not to a chimney, but a putrid dumpster
For the rats and the roaches, which are pests.
Then inside: “am I done?”
To be handed a spray bottle and towel
With which to clean the windows
To the sycophantic drawl of facetious appreciation
From the shift leaders, which are pests.
Finally, drive home,
Madly clutching tomorrow’s schedule:
Five to Close.
Copyright ©2000 Adam Rutledge