Charles Lara


Lost Change


He stood outside
the newspaper stand
on Michigan & Chicago,
the morning winter chill
made him put on his gloves.
He lit a cigar and said
good morning to three
Walgreens female workers
smoking outside in the cold.
“ It’s almost Old Style time, ”
he proclaimed and handed
a magazine with warm beauty
on its cover to a middle age
office worker who quickly
placed it in a briefcase
and continued to walk.
“ Ain’t it too early for beer, ”
said the redhead between inhales.
“ It’s never to early for Old Style…”
The ladies laughed,
died out their cigarettes
and went back to work.
He kept smoking his cigar
as he sold another newspaper
to a passerby who gave him
exact coins and told him
to keep the change.
He looked down
at the two quarters
in the palm of his glove
and took a long drag
pulled the cheap cigar
from his ample mouth
exhaled and yelled,
“and you too have a wonderful day…”
His shift was coming to an end
while most were just starting.
He knew that soon he would
be home drinking an Old Style,
thinking about the redhead
while counting lost change
he did manage to keep.

Submitted: Friday, February 25, 2005
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  • Lee Ann Schaffer (3/17/2005 10:07:00 PM)

    You are really good... good enough to keep me up way past my bedtime. That's really, really good. (Report) Reply

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