George

An average American George
in an average American town
census bureau-wise
slips through the kitchen door
out into a sixty-degree morning air
and the day ahead.
George swipes the night from his eyes
and settles into a back porch chair
for a prayer or two.
At driveway’s end a garbage truck
scoops up the trash bin,
dumping its ingredients into a hungry mouth
with an empty stomach, ingredients
from the previous week:
arguments with Grace
over this-that-and-the-other,
disappointment over hopes
to escape a stuck-in-a-rut job,
anger at a son who never calls
and a daughter who fails,
distrust of a brother
who takes and keeps taking,
fear of an accumulating debt
that continues accumulating,
loss of a god
who is always somewhere else,
and more junk
from an average American life.
George crosses himself
in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost
after a quick Hail Mary
just in case.
Inside Grace pours water for morning coffee.
George pulls himself from his chair.
Down the long walk to the street, George
passes a squirrel picking his teeth
and just about catches a shoe
in a sidewalk crack, then reaches
the empty bin.

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