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Jeff Gangwer

Rookie - 209 Points (September 23,1984 / Hood River, Oregon)

A Lifetime in the Lines at Wal-Mart


I spent a lifetime in the lines at Wal-Mart—

Twenty-six years in Line 17—with a cart of groceries—
Stuck between the tabloids, the gum, the mints, and the junk food—

Thirty-five years in Line 22—just waiting
While the weeks and months fell off the calendar—

But only seven years in the "Twenty Items or Less" Line—
With two bags of "el cheapo" cereal and some 2% milk

Time wasn't my enemy—but he carelessly pushed
His shopping cart into the back of my ankle—the bastard

Finally, I spent sixteen years in the Customer Service Line
Where I counted the pimples on the neck of the man in front of me

I watched him die from a stroke—
Right in front of me—

And I realized that I would be following him in a few minutes

Submitted: Saturday, August 02, 2014

Topic of this poem: life


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