This clatch club, 65+ years
in the making, gathers
6 am every morning
for Senior coffee, just 50 cents
and stimulating conversation.
These men have flown crop
dusters and fighter jets, sold
tractors and F-150s, cried
only twice in a long lifetime,
buried spouses and even children.
But each morning’s stories take
them to better places, to voices
filled with gravelly laughter
and the puffed chests no one
shakes a graying head at.
They talk, flirt with Flo,
who has worked this beat
for fifteen years or more,
remark on the cars that zip
in and out of the drive-through,
and shuffle from the familiar booths
just in time to avoid the pimply
teens who take up residence
before school, their young eyes
roving over what is just in front
of them, the wisdom of the 50-centers,
as if the young know everything.
Only Harley Lee, 15, who works
the shift with Flo, knows
how life lessons like gold
can be found at the bottom
of a Styrofoam cup.
April 20, 2015