Archive for May, 2018

veteran in Flint by David LaBounty

Posted in David LaBounty with tags on May 1, 2018 by Scot

 

it was a do good
kind of day
those of us
doing good
because
our kids
had to
good
for the
service
hours
at
school

and there we were

a collection of
honor students
and
parents
on hand
to help
out a middle
aged
veteran
with a
disabled
adult son
and a recently
disabled
wife

and we were in that part of Flint

north side,
just past
Hurley Hospital

a collection of
vacant lots
and
liquor
stores
and
clapboard
houses
like a salad
of ignored
gardens
just
tossed together
in it and

fluoride, he said

makes your
brain soft
and they
put fluoride
in the
water
to make the
population
just more
than passive

and he told
me all this
and his
teeth
were yellow
and there
were gray
and black
hairs coming
out of the
nighttime
of his
nose

and he
asked me
about my
coat, about
the
Columbia
label
on my
chest

what’s Columbia? he asked

and me,
I was
embarrassed
for a moment,
embarrassed
that my
body was
saying
something
my heart
didn’t
feel

oh
Columbia,
I said
that… that’s just
a thing

oh, he said
I remember Columbia,
it was a college in the sixties
a lot of the
protesters
back then
went to
Columbia

and the day
passed that
way and
later in
the afternoon
I headed
out of the
city

dropped
my son
off back
to his
mother’s
suburban home
and I headed
back to my own
suburban home

but I had to
stop at Kroger first

I needed
something
for dinner

they have those
pre-prepared meals
at Kroger now
all of the
ingredients
right in the box

I was torn
between the
pan-seared salmon
or the
lemon-glazed flat iron steak

I couldn’t pick either one
so I listened to my heart
and
my heart said
it wanted a
Tombstone pizza

so I got that instead

I took it home
and heated it up

I ate while flicking
through the
200 channels
of my cable tv

and no one
said anything
on the tv
that night

200 channels

and
no one
said
anything
at all